Kings of Judah is a series of devotionals from John Maisel. To catch up on this series, read Kings of Judah, Part 1.
The second king Isaiah mentions was Uzziah’s son, Jotham. We know that Uzziah didn’t finish well, but Jotham learned valuable lessons from his father’s life. He knew that pride and self-importance couldn’t lead his life.
He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Uzziah had done, but unlike him he did not enter the temple of the LORD. The people, however, continued their corrupt practices. —2 Chronicles 27:2
Even when most people he ruled weren’t interested in God’s ways, Jotham took God’s path. The result of his faithfulness: blessings from God.
Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God. —2 Chronicles 27:6
Just because you follow the Lord Jesus doesn’t mean your family or your friends will want to. I believe what we see in the life of Jotham is very important … God honors the heart of our leaders or people he puts in authority.
God continued to bless the nation of Judah even though their people had divided hearts and did not honor Him alone. God blessed them because their king followed the Lord steadfastly.
I don’t think we can draw any absolutes out of this, but I do think it should provoke us to “cry out” for godly leadership.
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. —Romans 13:1
We need to pray for our leaders, because we are to be in submission to the authorities that God has established. The only time we do not honor the king is when the king asks us to violate God’s laws or God’s moral authority, but kings like Jotham should be saluted.
He lived with a godly father who got caught up with his own importance—eventually abandoning a humble heart and becoming prideful. Jotham learned from his family mistakes, and he finished well because he learned that everything came from God’s grace.
“He walked steadfastly before the Lord his God” as a young man and an old man. When he died, his son, Ahaz, became king. Ahaz had a good and faithful dad, but he chose an arrogant and immoral lifestyle. This is one of the mysteries in life … how from an evil parent, God brings forth a righteous son or daughter and at other times righteous parents bring forth evil children.
Ahaz didn’t learn from his father’s or grandfather’s legacies. He thought he could worship the Lord God and worship Baal to make sure all his bases were covered. 2 Chronicles 28 says that Ahaz did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Instead, he made idols for worshipping the Baals, made sacrifices to them on the altars, and even sacrificed his own sons in the fire.
Ahaz shows us that our hearts are capable of awful acts … but the Holy One of Israel will respond to his evil deeds. We’ll take a look at that next time.