The phrase “the end of the line” infers finality. Hitting the wall. Cessation. Did you know that, at one time in history, God’s plan to redeem mankind appeared to be at “the end of the line?”
(II Kings 8:16-11:16 and II Chronicles 22:10–23:15)
Around 840 BC, bloody political intrigue pursued the monarchs of Judah.
King Jehoram and his 22-year-old son Ahaziah were killed, and Athaliah, Jehoram’s wife (the daughter of notorious Ahab and Jezebel), seized control of Judah’s throne.
Athaliah reveled in her power, unaware that she was a gauntlet perfectly fitted for Lucifer’s hand. Queen Athaliah promoted Baal worship, and attempted to kill all challengers to her scepter. In writhing paranoia, she slaughtered everyone in King David’s royal bloodline — including her own grandchildren.
For centuries Satan had obsessed over ways to sever the “root of Jesse,” the lineage from which Jesus Christ would be born. And through the narcissistic matriarch, Athaliah, the Spirit of Antichrist appeared to have succeeded.
After the queen’s murderous rampage, it appeared that not a single descendant from David’s messianic lineage remained alive to validate God’s promises in the Bible:
- The kingly lineage of Judah would not be severed (Genesis 49:10)
- David’s offspring would have an eternal kingdom (II Samuel 12:12-13 and II Chronicles 21:7)
- The Messiah, Jesus Christ, would crush the devil’s head (Genesis 3:15 and I John 3:8).
Athaliah had satisfied Satan’s ambition, reminding us of his effort to corrupt another “family tree” — in Eden — where his deceit hissed from the throat of a serpent.
Could a selfish queen, inspired by a fallen angel, wreck God’s plan for Jesus to be born (on God’s timetable 800 years later) in Bethlehem, the City of David?
(In answer to the question, noted Bible scholar G. Campbell Morgan writes “…against the wickedness of one woman God set the compassion of another.”)
While cries of dying children pierced the hearts of mothers in Judah, Athaliah’s sister — Auntie Jehosheba — hid one of Athaliah’s grandsons in a chamber of Solomon’s Temple. Little Joash was the last living heir that could carry on the messianic line.
Joash was a one-year-old when his six-year lockdown began. In the temple his Aunt Jehosheba and Uncle Jehoiada educated him for what they hoped would be his role as future king of Judah.
Consider: For millennia the Spirit of Antichrist has tried to spoil God’s plan to save humanity. And at times God allows violent events to trespass his will — as we see in the story of Athaliah and her grandson of destiny.
Governments grind their boots upon God’s grace, and erect battlements (profane laws) that often discourage us. But reckless laws constructed by godless legislators shatter like popsicle-sticks before the Creator. What appears to be “the end of the line” is the beginning of resolution. Bible prophesy unfolds at a glacier-like pace, barely perceptible until we examine the debris of history left behind — then we are amazed at what we see!
In the story of the Queen Athaliah, Satan attempted to disfigure God’s messianic imagery beyond recognition. But behind the earthly veil, redemption through Jesus Christ had been immutably established long before 840 BC.
In fact, the coming of the Savior of the world was preordained by God before creation itself. (I Peter 1:20).
In epochs past, we have experienced seasons when the Spirit of Antichrist surged with insane rage. (Case in point: 75 years ago, between 1941 and 1945 leaders of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis) believed that murdering 6 million Jewish men, women, and children was ethical and expedient for the future of their nation. They called their scheme The Final Solution).
Likewise, when a grandmother in 840 BC believed that murdering her own grandchildren was “ethical and expedient” for her nation, we unmask the depraved Spirit of Antichrist again.
Similarly, in 2021, we recognize the same “spirit,” as mothers and grandmothers support laws denying the rights of preborn children — and calling an unnatural procedure “ethical and expedient.”
Courageous Auntie Jehosheba, resisted the Spirit of Antichrist and saved her nephew from death. After a successful coup against Athaliah’s bloody regime, Joash’s uncle and aunt presented their nephew to the nation, whom the people gladly received as a successor to the throne.
Athaliah died in the coup, and the Davidic line of messianic ascent was publicly re-established.
The Bible reminds us that the Spirit of Antichrist lives among us today (I John 4:3). Through governments and individuals Satan’s relentless network attempts to disfigure every model that God has provided for us to follow, to keep our society safe from moral anarchy. The sanctity of marriage and defending the rights of children in the womb are two of these foundational models.
May we be as courageous as Auntie Jehosheba in preserving the values expressed in God’s Word — even when the world foolishly judges God’s promises to be at “the end of the line.”
(c) Richard Drebert 2021