Jehosheba: A Present Mind

Have you ever read the books of Kings and Chronicles? I tried to. I had firmly resolved on January first that I would read through the Bible in one year — a resolution I had made every year for three years prior to that one. I made it through June. . . and then gave up. Somewhere in Leviticus I had begun to despair, but then it got better in Judges. However, Kings and Chronicles finished me off. Trying to keep track of all the different kings of Israel and Judah was hard enough: add three men named Ahaziah and two named Jehu, plus a complete repeat of all of Samuel and Kings in 1 and 2 Chronicles, and I was thoroughly confused.

In the midst of lists of monarchs who “did evil in the sight of the Lord”, there is one individual whose character stands out in the wickedness of the time. . . but she’s only mentioned once, and yes — she’s a woman! If this hidden heroine had not accomplished what she did, our faith would not be alive today. Who is this daring damsel of the Old Testament? Her name is Jehosheba.

With only one verse in the entire Bible mentioning Jehosheba’s role in history, what makes her so fascinating? First, she was a member of a highly dysfunctional family. The blue-bloods of Israel had no problem marrying half-sisters and step-brothers and cousins twice removed; consequently, interpersonal communication was not what it should have been. After carefully examining 2 Kings 1-11, I managed to patch together the exact family situation Jehosheba was dealing with.

“Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family.” (2 Kings 11:1)

Talk about the wicked stepmother! Let’s pause here a moment. Athaliah was, from what I gathered in my study, the wife of the king of Israel and the sister of the king of Judah. By Jehoram, king of Israel, she mothered Ahaziah — who was killed by his Uncle Jehu. Joram , king of Judah, fathered Jehosheba. Hence Athaliah was Jehosheba’s aunt. When Ahaziah was killed by Jehu, Athaliah took out her wrath on the in-laws. (She’d probably been waiting a long time for that.) Once the royal family was wiped out, Athaliah took the throne. However, Athaliah was the daughter of King Ahab — on whom the Lord had pronounced a curse:

“I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord. Behold, I will bring disaster upon you. I will utterly burn you up, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free in Israel. . .” (1 Kings 21:20-21)

Athaliah was a member of Ahab’s family, and therefore had been stripped of the right to rule. The true heir should have come through the line of Jehosaphat — Jehoram’s father. Ahaziah, Jehosaphat’s grandson, was now dead, and Athaliah had seen to the elimination of everyone else with a claim to the throne. At least, she thought she had. What she didn’t know was that Ahaziah had a son. . . and he wasn’t dead.

“But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah [a different Ahaziah], took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death. And he remained with her six years, hidden in the house of the Lord, while Athaliah reigned over the land.” (2 Kings 11:2-3)

In the midst of a massacre, one woman saved the entire Davidic line from perishing completely. Because Ahab’s line was cursed, any heir to the throne of Israel had to come through Jehosaphat — a descendent of David. For through David would come the promised Messiah:

“Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” (Jn. 7:42)

The entire genealogy of Jesus is recorded in the first chapter of Matthew:
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Matt. 1:1)

One woman changed the entire course of history. What was the key to her success? Certainly her courage and fortitude are to be commended — especially in the face of her own aunt’s cruelty. However, Jehosheba possessed more than just a spirit of bravery: she had a present mind.

You have probably heard the numerous blond jokes that fly around; terms like “airhead” and ditsy, and phrases like “the phone’s ringin’ but nobody’s home!”. While it’s always humorous to see such people in action, when reality hits, they crumple under the pressure. Many girls aren’t so extreme as the blonds we joke about and the airheads we laugh at. Many girls just love to dream. Dreaming is a wonderful pastime, and I would never tell a girl to stop — unless she’s dreaming at the wrong time and in the wrong place. Every girl loves to imagine what her future will be, but in the words of Rudyard Kipling, one should “dream, but not make dreams your master; think, but not make thoughts your aim.” Imagine if Jehosheba had been distracted during Athaliah’s slaying spree. Little Joash would have been killed — along with David’s entire bloodline. Jehosheba’s mind was focused on the need at hand — and she set her heart to accomplish what had to be done.

I struggle often with keeping my mind focused on God and what He needs me to do now. It is terribly tempting to think about what I’ll do, where I’ll go and who I’ll meet in the future, but God wants me to seek out what I can do, where I can go and who I can meet today.

“You keep her in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because she trusts in you.”
(Is. 26:3)

“To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
(Rom. 8:6)

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:2)

A present mind is a mind fixed on God and focused on accomplishing His work. Jehosheba’s preservation of Joash and the line of David reflected her priorities — and the status of her mind. She was operating in the present; redeeming the time. Though only one verse in the entire Bible refers to this hidden heroine, her legacy lives on in the fact that we worship Jesus Christ, the Son of David, today.

Father, I know that all my life
Is portioned out for me;
The changes that will surely come
I do not fear to see:
I ask thee for a present mind
Intent on pleasing Thee.
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14 Responses

  1. This is a great post. I would highly recommend that you keep on reading through your Bible. I did it for about 8 years in a row and read it in different versions on different years. It will really give you a different perspective. Maybe do a short little Bible study at the same time that you can still glean from on those hard books. I have not done it for a couple of years now, but want to do it again in 2008.

  2. Hi, Phylicia 🙂

    Wow, you are an excellent writer! It’s quite refreshing to see someone as young as you (and I) actually using punctuation, paragraphs, and proper sentence structure in online writing.

    I am currently at Luke in my reading through the Bible, starting at Genesis. I originally wanted to do it in one year, but it’s been close to two.

    Previously I had just made a checklist of all the books of the Bible I had not already read through completely, and read those so that I could say I had read the entire Bible. Then I just started at the beginning, and once I realized I wasn’t going to finish in a year, the pressure was off and I could actually enjoy reading the Bible at my own pace. I resolved not to delve too deep this time around, though, and save that for the next time; I just want to get kind of a quick overview so I could see the big picture. It is actually very cool when you get out of the minor prophets which have all those prophecies about Jesus, and then you get into Matthew and the other gospels, you see them being fulfilled right there.

    So, once I finish Luke-Revelation, I will start back at the beginning, only this time really study every verse and do word studies. It may take me five years, who knows!

    Anyway, I would be glad to put a link to your blog on mine. I am also glad to meet a girl who is like-minded and sold out to her faith.

    Blessings,
    ~Kristina

  3. Great post!! I love what you said about dreaming. I too believe that girls should think and dream about what our future will be…. but we must be careful that our dreams do not take over our thoughts and control our life. I believe that most single christian girls spend more time dreaming about what their future will be like, and much less time busy about the work of the Lord! As girls, we want to be married, have a family, etc… but we MUST remember that there are things that the Lord wants us doing while we wait for His will concerning those areas of our life. I pray that the Lord will help me to Keep my mind upon Him, and what He wants me to be doing!! If I keep my mind on the Lord, then I will spend much less time complaining about what we “want” to happen in our life!!

    That was a GREAT post!!! Thanks for visiting my blog, and for the comment!! Kristina is my BEST friend, and will be my sister in law one day (I’m marrying her brother!) 🙂

    I’m going to add your blog to my links if that is ok.

    ~Jessica

  4. This was an excellent bible study. Thank you so much for getting us through it and sharing this amazing story. May the Lord continue to bless you as you study His Word and share your thoughts.

  5. Hi Phylicia,

    What a beautiful writer you are! I also have a 17 year old daughter and I love to see young women like you who embrace Christ! Thank you for visiting our blog and pointing me to your site. I know we’ll be frequent visitors!

  6. Hello Phylicia,
    I was blessed to read your blog. What a wonderful reminder that even when all of our circumstances look bleak… God is still in full control! HE KNEW that a baby in the bloodline needed to live for the prophecy to be fulfilled, and He also knew who he could depend on to carry out the job… even when it may have meant her own death, just as HE knows what WE EACH need today so that our tomorrows will work according to His plan!

    Continue on my new friend… seek God and His wisdom. Continue to share what you are learning… you have a gift of writing! I am blessed to have visited your blog and thanks for visiting mine!

    Blessings,
    Melanie

  7. Hi, thanks for posting on my blog, so that I could “meet” you. I have been checking your blogs out!
    Keep up the good work,

    Norma

  8. Thanks for visiting my blog, Praying 4 More. No, I will not be continuing that blog and will, in fact, be deleting it. It was the Lord that put upon my heart that I needed to cease blogging, and as you know, we must obey the things that the Lord directs us to do. Blogging had become an addiction for me (I also had a blog over at Homestead Blogger), and I was spending too many hours blogging when I needed to be busy about my home. I am much more able to manage my time now that I am no longer blogging.

    My daughter is also 17 and a senior in our homeschool. Like you, she enjoys the Rebelution. She also does some writing for Hope Chest Magazine and Seasons at Home magazine. She has a blog entitled, How Great Is His Faithfulness, where she blogs about purity, modesty, and Godly womanhood. You are welcome to visit if you would like. http://www.howgreatishisfaithfulness.blogspot.com.

    Blessings to you!

  9. I found your blog through another Blogger – “Life is Not a Cereal,” and I’m so thankful I did! You write beautifully!

    I know I need to be reminded often of having a “present mind.” Someone once told me that today is called the present because it is truly a gift (present). That has stuck with me as a powerful spiritual truth.

    I’ll be back to visit often!
    Thanks again!

    In Christ,
    Susan <><
    http://www.CreativeBibleStudy.com

  10. Hello!
    Thank you for your comment on my blog! I’d love to link to you, if you don’t mind!

  11. Hello Phylicia!
    This is my first time to visit your blog…it’s great!
    I so enjoy reading creative writing, (as well as trying my hand at it!) especailly when it is focused on Jesus and His Word.
    You have a beautiful thing going on here, and I look forward to checking back and reading more.
    God bless you!
    In Christ,
    Kaysie
    alabasterboxblog.blogspot.com

  12. Hi Phylicia,
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your comment.
    I would love for us to link our blogs!
    I am very excited as well to find like-minded girls who share a passion for writing and Jesus.
    Thank you! 🙂
    In Christ,
    Kaysie

  13. I’ve just been reading through that part of the Bible during my reading, too.

    I loved being able to see what someone else had gotten out of the same section. 🙂

    ~Kelsey

    http://setapart.wordpress.com

  14. Hello, I am Cait from http://www.albaniancait.blogspot.com. You left a comment on my page and I have loved reading your page! Your life sounds wonderful and you sound like a wonderful woman of God. I will continue to read your blogs. Thank you! Oh and if you have any more questions about albania my email is caitbid@hotmail.com God Bless, Cait

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