In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, began to reign. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah; she was a granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. He also walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was son-in-law to the house of Ahab.
Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family. But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of 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. II Kings 8:25-27, 11:1-3 ESV
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my words.
Wondrously show your steadfast love,
O Savior of those who seek refuge
from their adversaries at your right hand.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who do me violence,
my deadly enemies who surround me. Psalm 17:6-9 ESV
When Uther Pendragon’s son was born, England was a dangerous place. Rival kings were fighting for power, and Uther’s son would have the right to take the high throne. It wasn’t safe for this baby, because the other men who wanted to be the king would have killed him if they had known about him. So Merlin took the baby Arthur away and hid him with another family. He grew up hidden as the younger son of Sir Ector and his son Kay, and no one knew who he was. Young Arthur stayed safe with Ector until it was time for him to take his throne.
This is only a story, but something similar happened to a baby boy named Joash. He was the son of Ahaziah, king of the southern kingdom of Judah. Ahaziah was killed in a battle after only one year as the king, and Ahaziah’s mother, Athaliah, wanted to be the Queen of Judah, so she did a horrible thing. She killed all her sons and grandsons so that she would be the only person left to rule! She would have killed the baby Joash, her own grandson, but God kept him safe. His aunt, Jehosheba, Ahaziah’s sister, took the baby and hid him and his nurse in a bedroom. Athaliah couldn’t find him to kill him, and Joash stayed safely hidden for six years while his grandmother ruled the kingdom.
There was another baby king who was kept safe from an evil ruler who wanted to put him to death, and that was the Baby Jesus. When King Herod heard that a baby had been born who would threaten his kingdom, he was worried and upset. He sent his soldiers to kill all the baby boys in the area! But an angel warned Joseph to take Jesus and his mother Mary away and to hide in Egypt. God kept his Son safe in Egypt so that King Herod couldn’t put him to death. Jesus grew up to do what his Heavenly Father had sent him to do, to die for the sins of the whole world. Because of what Jesus did, we are God’s children, and God loves us. He keeps us safe with him, and no one can take us away from God’s loving care.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the love you showed us in Jesus, and for making us your children and keeping us safe with you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.