Day 31

King Jehoram Leads Judah Astray

2 Chronicles 21:2-20, 2 Chronicles 22:1-12, Deuteronomy 10:12-14

BY Melanie Rainer

I recently watched a movie where a rather conniving cousin almost thwarted a would-be king. It was a holiday romance with a royal twist: a riddle that needed to be solved to ensure the rightful heir was installed on the throne. The riddle was solved by a precocious young woman who, you guessed it, marries the new king. 

But on the way to their happily ever after, they did stumble. Lies that had been told for generations came to light, and for a while, it seemed that there was no unwinding what had been done. Deception threatened their happiness in multiple ways, but a clue hidden in the riddle unlocked the victory for the true king. 

This section of 2 Chronicles shares some ideas with that plot: a series of familial murders threatened to keep a rightful king (Joash) from the throne until a precocious princess stepped in to save the day. 

The stories of Jehoram, Ahaziah, Athaliah, and Joash are hard to read. Jehoram inherited the throne but killed all his brothers to ensure it would be his. He was a terrible king who didn’t honor the Lord. He “built high places in the hills of Judah, and he caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves, and he led Judah astray” (2Chronicles 21:11). The Lord sent the prophet Elijah to tell Jehoram that he would die of a horrible intestinal illness. Then his son Ahaziah became king, and he led the people toward idols and away from the Lord. After his death, Ahaziah’s mother, Athaliah, took over and killed all of Ahaziah’s heirs to prevent them from stealing the throne from her. 

Except that Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, took Ahaziah’s infant son, Joash, and hid him in the temple for six years. Like Moses in the reed basket, a baby was saved to carry the promise forward. Jesus was saved when His family fled to Egypt, and Herod sought to kill all the baby boys under two years old. 

So goes the family of Jehoram, and so goes Israel. Israel kept forgetting God, worshiping idols, and breaking God’s law. And while God showed His judgment to them and they suffered through exile, God left a remnant of hope through the line of David. A good king—a forever king—King Jesus was promised. Through all the mess, tragedy, and epic family drama, God kept His promise to Israel and established His forever kingdom through their True King. 

This devotional was updated on March 22, 2023 at 11:04 a.m. An earlier version of this devotional incorrectly identified Jehoshabeath as Ahaziah’s daughter.

Post Comments (43)

43 thoughts on "King Jehoram Leads Judah Astray"

  1. Sarah Morrison says:

    What is the movie?

  2. Mercy says:

    Reading today’s passages, the theme of “evil generational pattern” stood out to me again. How did a baby saved at a tip of a sword, raised by a priest, in and out of God’s House during early childhood, turned around and became a murderer? The Bible mentioned another baby, the case of prophet Samuel, dedicated into the temple when weaned by his mom Hannah, raised by prophet Eli, same situation, he grew up to be a God-fearing man… blessing and leading the nation. But Joash, a murderer, why? Then the Spirit of God revealed to me there exists an evil generational pattern that follows Joash. It’s not by chance, his grandmother Athaliah was a murderer. I remembered a teaching a while back I listened to, someone asked this, do you realize if you are going through medical treatment, doctors will ask if your parents or anyone in your family have had this illness history? why do we think that is? This is physical genetics, but spiritually, there is also a trail that follows to the younger and later generations. It is a spiritual law that God himself decrees, “I will visit the iniquity of the wicked to the 3rd or even 4th generation” (Exodus 34:7)- it will follow. The spirit of murder follows Joash from the trail that the wicked grandma Athaliah started. I saw this generational patterns in the Bible, in families of God following people (Christians), not exempt, such as, Solomon was a womanizer and then his son the next king also became one (King David also had issues with lust so strong that he even set up his friend to war casualty). Abraham was barren, and then his first born Issaac was also barren with his wife Rebekah (genesis 25:21), until the Lord healed the barrenness, they both struggled with infertility big time. These are God’s people, not unbelievers. May we look and examine, and ask God, what evil generational pattern I must notice Lord, By your power, by your grace, by your mighty right arm, may You Lord break and uproot every evil generational pattern in my family. Is it the disease that I saw my mom or my grandma have? My grandma has dementia from domestic abuse in her marriage (and I pray for the Lord to break this off my mom and younger generations in our families). May we ask God to reveal to us by His Spirit, and ask by His power that He will CUT OFF every evil pattern in our families. Dementia will not glory God, nor will poverty, job loss, anger, pride (self worship). His Name is at stake if these evil still lurk around. He wants us free and live victoriously for the sake of His Mighty Name. To HIM be ALL the glory. @SEARCHING: praying for your safe and joyful travels. @Dorothy: prayers for baby George and his mama. Be blessed dear sisters.

  3. Foster Mama says:

    Haha @ MELANIE RAINER…I’ve seen that movie…it’s a cute one!! (as are the next two installments LoL)

    God bless ♥️

  4. Sharon Jones says:

    20 He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he departed with no one’s regret. They buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. – 2 Chronicles 21:20. ……(He departed with no one’s regret). This struck me as a very poor legacy…

  5. Kimberly Z says:

    @SARAH D. I hope it was a good relaxing personal day for you! I know you’re going to find that job soon and you will have so much more gratitude for it because of all the pain you’ve been through with this job! When I was going through college I was a teller at a bank and they were well with my crazy schedule. I pray you can find something more accommodating! @SEARCHING love your comment about how people were just trying to their best during Covid days. I couldn’t agree more! In life we are all just trying to do our best. Thank goodness for Gods grace!

  6. Amy R. says:

    Praying for all you Shes and feel so blessed to have found this community!

  7. Claire B says:


  8. Jennifer Anapol says:

    It’s hard to read about all of the evil happening in these two chapters, but what I love is God still makes a way and still has a plan even in the midst of the sin. I know he will make a way in our world too. ❤️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *