The Lady Who Saved Christmas
by David T. Myers
For our post today, we go away from the remembrance of some Presbyterian and Reformed person, place, and event to think on The Lady Who Saved Christmas. This title was taken from a commentary of the Rev. Dale Ralph Davis on the Old Testament History book, Second Kings, published by Christian Focus, of Ross-shire, Scotland, United Kingdom. And yes, permission was sought and given by both the author and the publisher to quote portions for this day’s post.
Dale Ralph Davis writes on page 159 that “God made the coming of his kingdom – and therefore of Christmas – depend on a promise he made, and he placed that promise, openly exposed, in all the turbulence and upheaval of human history. Sometimes we call that promise the Davidic covenant, as when Yahweh assured David ‘Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.’ (2 Samuel 7:16) Hence David’s line of kings, the ‘Davidic pipeline’, would never bite the dust, and, eventually, the future David, the messianic King, would bring this line to its awesome climax. The kingdom of Israel divided, however, and David’s line reigned over a postage-stamp sized kingdom called Judah, and there the days came about 840 BC when it looked like there wouldn’t ever be any Christmas and history would be Messiah-less.”
The author goes on in this chapter to describe the rampage of Queen Athaliah’s mystery of murder on Judah’s royal family, seeking to destroy all the royal seed of David’s line. She was successful with the exception of a baby named Joash, who with his caregiver, was rescued by the wife of the high priest, a courageous woman named Jehosheba. It is all recorded in 2 Kings 11:1 – 3 (read). The high priest’s stole the infant out of the palace and relocated him in a bedroom in the house of the Lord, thus preserving this last remaining royal seed. Seven years later, he was placed on the throne of Judah to reign with the help of a godly counselor. Here truly is the Lady Who Saved Christmas.
We learn first, The Huge Significance of Unsung Servants. I mean, who has ever heard of Jehosheba before? She is not mentioned again in Scripture. The promise of God to keep David’s line is hanging by a thread, and up steps this priest’s wife. The LORD could have sent twelve legions of angels to save the royal line, but He had Jehosheba in place at the right time and the right place.
Maybe no one has heard of you, dear reader. You, as a Christian, are in a small town, or small church. There may not be many who cheer you on in the Lord’s work. But God takes notice. As a Christian parent, Dale Ralph Davis noted on page 173, “you have responsibility over the church in your house, where you are meant to serve as prophet, priest, and king. As prophet you teach the word of God to your children, as priest you intercede and wrestle in prayer for t hem, and as king you rule over them with proper discipline and protection. . . . Don’t tell me your kingdom service doesn’t matter.”
In addition, Dale Ralph Davis sees The Subversive Presence of Yahweh’s Kingdom in verse 3 of Second Kings 11, which tells us that Joash was with Jehosheba for six years when the wicked queen was ruling over the land. There is the illegitimate kingdom of Athaliah and the secret existence of the true king, Joash, in God’s kingdom with Jehosheba. Queen Athaliah never even imagines that there is a potential king hidden away in the temple.
We have another instance of this same situation in Philippians 4:22. Paul is giving his greetings and mentions that even the saints of “Caesar’s household” greets the readers of the inspired letter. Saints in Caesar’s household? We are not given their names by the apostle for wise reasons, but God, the true emperor, has his servants even at this pivotal location. As Dale Davis comments, “in one sense, Caesar is the lord, but actually they have begun to serve a different Lord.” (p. 175)
Last, we must try to See God’s Hand at Work Long Before Luke 2. If Athaliah had had her way, as Dr. Davis comments on pg 180, “there would’ve been no angels or shepherds or swaddling clothes or good news of great joy.” As a result of Johosheba’s intervention, David’s line continued through Joash, and 850 years later, Jesus was born in Bethlehem as a descendant of David and yes, Joash, after the flesh, to save His people from their sins.
Words to Live By:
On this evening, some, if not many of you, will attend a Christmas eve celebration at your Presbyterian church. It is a traditional service, with the singing of Christmas carols and the simple retelling of the Christmas story. Some congregations will light candles at the close, and sing Silent Night. Others may sing enthusiastically “Go, Tell it on the Mountain, that Jesus Christ is born,” by the lights of the many candles filling the church sanctuary. It will be a joyous time of worship.
Dear Reader: With Christmas falling on the Lord’s Day, resist the temptation to stay home with your family from your church worship, but instead make it a part of your Christmas Day. Keep Christ in Christmas is more than a slogan. Make it a practical part of your Christmas holiday!