"Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Athaliah the granddaughter of Omri, king of Israel."
2 Kings 8:26
Athaliah, the daughter of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel and the granddaughter of Omri, was born into an era that completely denied the one true God. She married Jehoram, the firstborn of Judah's godly king Jehoshaphat. Jehoran had allied himself with Israel for political reasons. Athaliah, following in her mother's footsteps, promoted Baal worship and led both the people of Judah and her husband away from the Lord.
"And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab had done, for he had the daughter of Ahab as a wife; and he did evil in the sight of the Lord." (2 Chr. 21:6)
When Jehoram died prematurely at age forty, their son, Ahaziah became king, and Athaliah continued her evil influence.
"He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother advised him to do wickedly." (2 Chr. 22:3)
"For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God, and had also presented all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord to the Baals." (2 Chr. 24:7)
Over time Athaliah's sons died at the hands of the Philistines and the Arabians because of her wickedness. She even had her own grandsons murdered, who were legitimate heirs to the throne, so then it freed the seat for her to gain the throne for herself.
Athaliah reigned six years as an illegitimate occupant of the royal seat. She was not born into the Davidic lineage so she continued with the idolatrous traditions of how she was raised.
"Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs of the house of Judah." (2 Chr. 22:10)
Judah had never had a ruler who was not a descendant of David. The Levite priests supported Davidic kingship. When they led a rebellion against this northern tyrant, the people followed willingly. Athaliah was killed dishonorably, like the other members of Ahab's family.
"So they seized her; and she went by way of the entrance of the Horse Gate into the king's house, and they killed her there." (2 Chr. 23:15)
Athaliah's wickedness stains the pages of Israel's history. This queen stands as a sobering reminder of the escalation of evil influence that can work in the heart of a woman who determines to go her own way, rejecting God and grasping for power.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, May I learn valuable lessons from Athaliah's life of greed, anger and the desire to be in control and always know there is room for change, my past does not predict my future. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Ps.51:10) In Jesus' name. Amen.