Jotham Rules in Judah
Are you sitting down? This is a story of a GOOD KING!! I know you are shocked! But it won’t take long — it is only 9 verses long, so here it is without interruption.
Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. His mother was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.
2 Jotham did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. He did everything his father, Uzziah, had done, except that Jotham did not sin by entering the Temple of the Lord. But the people continued in their corrupt ways.
3 Jotham rebuilt the upper gate of the Temple of the Lord. He also did extensive rebuilding on the wall at the hill of Ophel. 4 He built towns in the hill country of Judah and constructed fortresses and towers in the wooded areas. 5 Jotham went to war against the Ammonites and conquered them. Over the next three years he received from them an annual tribute of 7,500 pounds of silver, 50,000 bushels of wheat, and 50,000 bushels of barley.
6 King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God.
7 The rest of the events of Jotham’s reign, including all his wars and other activities, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. 8 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. 9 When Jotham died, he was buried in the City of David. And his son Ahaz became the next king.
We will honor Jotham by viewing his name in the account of Jesus’ ancestors in Matthew 1:
Matthew 1:6-11 (ESV)
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham . . .
I love verse 6: King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God.
Here is a story from colonial America about another leader who walked in obedience with the Lord.
A skeptical newcomer arrived in the village, and heard stories of the pastor walking with God. He became determined to discover what kind of man the pastor really was since he seemed to disappear on Fridays. The next Friday morning the newcomer hid near the pastor’s house, watched him rise, say his prayers and put on the clothes of a peasant. He saw him take an axe and go into the forest, chop down a tree and gather a large bundle of wood. Next the pastor proceeded to a shack in the poorest section of the village, home to an old woman and her sick son. He left them all the wood. which was enough for the week. The pastor then quietly returned to his own house. The story concludes that the newcomer stayed in the village and became a believer in the pastor’s church that Sunday. And whenever he hears one of his fellow villagers say, “On Friday morning our pastor ascends all the way to Heaven,” the newcomer quietly adds, “If not higher.”
Lord, give us hearts that are careful, intentional, and joyful — to live in obedience to You! In fact, who needs me to help them by gathering wood (or whatever the job) today? To whom can I show Christ today?
“It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit.” ~Ellen G. White, 1898
“Lord, I Want to Be Like Jesus,” for he was perfectly obedient to God, even to death on the cross. HERE it is sung by one of my favorites, Fernando Ortega.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.