Jezebel and Athaliah
Mother/Daughter Bible Study—Part Three
Mother and Daughter and Worship
Jezebel redecorated the royal palace almost immediately upon her marriage to Ahab. She did the palace in early Baal, furnishing it with extravagant groves and idols devoted to the lewd and lascivious worship of the false god. Everywhere Athaliah looked, as a child wandering on that hill in Samaria, she saw Baal. She could likely not even remember the days before her mother had commanded the execution of all of the prophets of Jehovah (I Kings 18:4,13). Her mother was very successful in passing her passion for idolatry along to Athaliah.
Second Chronicles chapter twenty one gives the account of Athaliah’s marriage to Jehoram, king of Judah. As if it had not been enough for Jezebel to bring the abominations of Tyre to the Northern Kingdom of Judah, now, through Athaliah the same whoredoms were to be carried into the Southern kingdom of Judah. Verses five and six six tell us of the marriage of Athaliah to Jehoram:
Jehoram was thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.
Athaliah, like her mother, was not only idolatrous, but she was an evangelistic idolatress. She was bent on leading the entire kingdom of Judah into spiritual whoredom. Notice by verses twelve through fourteen that her influence, through Jehoram, had successfully turned the hearts of the people from Jehovah. The prophet’s message was to Athaliah’s husband, Jehoram.
And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, But hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father’s house, which were better than thyself: Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods:
Jezebel had instilled within Athaliah a passion for the promotion of idol worship. Verses twelve through twenty of Second Chronicles chapter twenty-one tell us how Jehoram was punished by God with sore diseases and a slow and painful death in which his bowels literally fell out of his body. These verses tell us that the whole kingdom suffered defeat and a great plundering by the Philistines and Arabians because of the this wickedness. But never mind the consequences. Athaliah was a woman on a mission–a mission of the promotion of false worship–a mission planted in her heart in the the early years of her childhood.
We can put our children on a mission. We can fill our homes with the Word and will of Jehovah God. We can make the promotion of worship and service to Him so permeate our homes that our children will naturally grow up to be faithful and evangelistic. Deuteronomy six verses four through fifteen give us the step-by-step directions for making our children powerful promoters of Jehovah. Here it is:
- You, Mother, must love him with all of your being (verse 5).
- You, Mother, must spend large amounts of time with your children (verse 7).
- You, Mother, must fill this time with conversation about Him and His will (verse 7).
- You, Mother, must fill your child’s little world with sensory reminders of the God we serve (verses 8 and 9). This should include the books you read together, refrigerator verses, memory awards, tapes and CDs of Bible songs and verses, the television you watch, the games you play, and even the decor of your home. Get God in the picture!
- You, Mother, must guard against having a heart of materialism (verses 10-12) We must beware lest we be caught up in the houses, wells, vineyards and trees and forget the Lord! We must let our children see us sacrifice entertainment for holy living. They must see us sacrifice financially for mission work. They must see us sacrifice vacation time for faithful worship. They must see us sacrifice job promotions for ethical uprightness. They must see us rejoice in the Lord when we are materially blessed and trust in His mercy when we face hard times. They must never hear us grumble about God’s blessings like rain or hot sunshine. We cannot allow children in our homes to complain about the food set before them. They must hear us offer constant thanksgiving to our God and they must be required to show gratitude to people around them for all favors and gifts. Beware lest you forget!
- You, Mother, must put worship to the living God above all else, forsaking all idols (verses 13,14). This means worship must be a priority always above sports, recreation, schoolwork, travel, or rest. It means you’d rather miss any activity this world offers than miss worship to your God. Anything that would take your allegiance from God is an idol.
Jezebel was successful in teaching Athaliah about worship and service. I can be successful, too.