Jehosheba: A Woman of Courage and Character

In today’s episode of All God’s Women we look at Jehosheba, a woman who saw senseless murders happening right before her eyes, and found a way to save the life of an innocent baby.

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We meet Jehosheba in 2 Kings chapter 11. Her story intersects with Athaliah and Zibiah. So let’s first get clear on how everyone is related. Jehosheba was the daughter of King Johoram, Athaliah’s husband, but Jehosheba’s mother was a lesser wife. Jehosheba was the half-sister of Ahaziah, Zibiah’s husband. Ahaziah was the son of Athaliah and the father of Joash. 

So now, who was Jehosheba? Not only was she a princess, the daughter of King Johoram, but she was the wife of the high priest, Jehoiada. 

Got it? Yeah, I know. You pretty much need to draw out a family tree to keep up with all the kings and queens and their relatives. But it will fall into place as I share the story.

To set the stage, Ahaziah was king, then he was killed. When his mother Athaliah learned of his death, she decided to jump on the opportunity to take over the throne. So to insure that she wouldn’t have any opposition, she immediately killed all the royal heirs which included her grandsons. 

However Jehosheba found out what was going on and found a way to rescue her nephew, baby Joash without Athaliah realizing it. We’re not sure if she was rescued from among the corpses or if she stole him from his nursery before Athaliah got there. Regardless, she rescued him from his murderous grandmother. 

Jehosheba hid Joash and his nurse in the bed chamber where they stored bedding. 

For six years Jehosheba and her husband Jehoiada kept Joash hidden in the temple. Then, when he was seven years old, Jehoiada brought him out and anointed him king. We covered that last week in the Athaliah episode.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting to me. In the bonus episode on Zibiah we read 2 Kings 12:1 where it said, “In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba.” It continues in verse 2 with, “Jehoash did what was right in the sight of the LORD all the days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him.”

Since Zibiah’s name precedes saying Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord, that would lead us to believe that it was Zibiah’s influence that led to him following the Lord. And, of course, it also mentions Jehoiada’s instruction. 

But what about Jehosheba? We’re told she rescued Joash and his nurse and hid him in the temple. It doesn’t say anything about Zibiah, his mother. Where was she during this? We don’t know.

But here’s my theory. I think God used each of these individuals to impact the life of young King Joash. Each one had a role to play, and each one did their part. 

Joash could have easily fallen in the footsteps of his wicked family members, but he had multiple godly individuals pouring into him and showing him what godly living looked like. And he needed them all because at 7-years-old he was placed in charge of a nation. Obviously, he couldn’t lead on his own. But he was blessed with godly teaching and guidance, and because of that, he repaired the temple from Athaliah’s destruction and set things in order with the way the temple was run. 

As mothers we often feel inadequate to the task. We try, we do our best, but we often feel like it’s not enough. We fear we’re failing our children. Well, good news. God doesn’t expect you to do it all on your own. He puts other people in their lives to impact them in ways that you can’t. Other family members, neighbors, church members, sometimes random strangers that just show up at the right moment to bless you and your child. 

Maybe you’re single or childless. Guess what. You can still play a vital role in the life of other people’s children. 

We have no record of Jehosheba having any children of her own. Perhaps she did and it’s just not mentioned. Or maybe she was never blessed with a child of her own. Nevertheless, it’s obvious she loved Joash and cared for him as if he were her own child. She saved his life and impacted him in ways we’ll never know.

Look around you. More than likely, there’s someone in your life who could benefit from your influence. It could be a single mom, a grandmother raising a grandchild, maybe a family who’s struggling financially or a family whose family lives far away. Ask God how you can be used to make a difference in the life of those families. Chances are, He won’t have you rescuing a baby from a pile of corpses. But He may have you pouring into lives in less dramatic ways. And you know what’s really cool about that? It’s not just the child or the mother who is blessed. In reaching out to others, you end up blessed as well. 

In this holiday season, who is needing you? How can you help? I’d love to hear what you end up doing.

Lord God, thank You for this encouraging story of one brave woman who risked her life to save the life of a helpless infant. Thank You for giving these stories of redemption so that we might be inspired to do great things as well. Be with those mothers who are struggling right now. Send angels of mercy to pour into them. And for those who are childless, open their eyes to ways that they might be used in mighty ways by You. We love You so very much. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Jehosheba: a woman of courage and character

Bible Study

Scripture Background

2 Kings chapter 11

Bible Study Review

  1. How was Jehosheba related to Athaliah?
  2. Why did Athaliah kill the royal heirs?
  3. Where did Jehosheba hide Joash?

Thoughts to Ponder

  1. What might have happened if Athaliah caught Jehosheba saving Joash?
  2. Why was the temple a safe place to hide Joash?
  3. How was Joash impacted by his time in the temple?

Personal Reflection

  1. How far would you go to save the life of someone else’s child?
  2. Have you impacted the life of other children?
  3. What influence do you have on those around you?

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3 thoughts on “Jehosheba: A Woman of Courage and Character”

  1. Pingback: Athaliah: A Truly Evil Woman – Sharon Wilharm – Christian Storyteller

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