"Introduction to Jotham, king of Judah. [1 -
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
Jotham was twenty years old when his father Uzziah was smitten with leprosy, and for five years he became co-regent of Judah. So at the age of twenty five he ruled in Jerusalem by himself. At this time his five year old son Ahaz was next in line to the throne, and Jotham would rule for the next sixteen years over Judah and Benjamin.
Though Uzziah tried to do that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, in following the laws of God given through Moses, yet in verse four we read; "Save that the high places were not removed: the People sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places." Uzziah tried to please God, yet at the same time would not give up the heathen practices and traditions that had entered into the land of Judah. Would God put up with this indifference to His Laws and commandments?
II Kings 15:5 "And the Lord smote the king, so that he was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house. And Jotham the king's son was over the house, judging the People of the land."
God did not allow the wickedness that Uzziah brought on the People of Israel to continue, and He smote him to cause him to be a leper. In the Hebrew text, this "several house" was a house for lepers. When Uzziah took over as the king, he tried to please everyone, and he turned his head to those things going on in the high places. The term for this today in our land is called, "being politically correct". Uzziah knew the laws of Moses, and he knew the blessings that come when you try to please our heavenly Father, and he also knew of the curses that follow when you do not. Uzziah did not please the Father, and leprosy came upon him instantly. So upon Uzziah's death, Jotham became the king on the throne of Judah.
When any child of God messes around with man's traditions it makes him angry. When God's laws are violated, He promised that he will place curses on those that displease him and turn their backs to His Word.
II Chronicles 27:1 "Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok."
II Kings 16:7 "So Azariah [Uzziah] slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead."
We see that the same sins are continued from one generation to the next, passed on from father to son. This is the basis of "man's traditions"; for the son learns the wickedness of his father, and continues down the same road of wickedness. Any act that is passed on to the next generation becomes a tradition.
II Chronicles 27:2 "And he [Jotham] did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the Lord. And the people did yet corruptly."
Sure Jotham judged the people according to the laws of God, and he did not punish a family for the sins of their father; nor the father for the sins of the son. However, in the same light, Jotham allowed the same high places, the same heathen practices to continue under his rule. The chief duty of any king is to protect the faith, and this Jotham did not do.
II Chronicles 27:3 "He built the high gate of the house of the Lord, and on the wall of Ophel he built much."
Even though Jotham tried to please God, he still fell short in pleasing God by allowing the traditions to continue. Everything that Jotham did, he did in the name of the Lord. It was under Jotham that all these heathen traditions that were left out on the hill side before, were brought into the house of the Lord. It is happening today just as it went on under Jotham. Churches try to out due each other, and bring in "new traditions" into their church, and stray from the path that our Lord has laid out for us to follow. In time God's people don't know the difference between what is from God and his Word, and what was brought into the house of the Lord from another heathen religious form.
II Chronicles 27:4 "Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers."
King Solomon also liked to build fortified cities to strengthen his kingdom.
II Chronicles 27:5 "He fought also with the king of the Ammonites, and prevailed against them. And the children of Ammon gave him the same year an hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon pay unto him, both the second year, and the third."
As Jotham tried to please God, God blessed him. God gave Jotham and his army victory on the battle field and with the victory came the spoils of war and the taxes that would be collected later. Jotham collected these tributes of silver and crops for three years.
II Chronicles 27:6 "So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the Lord his God."
Don't overlook the cause of the riches and fame that came Jotham's way, for in the beginning of his reign, he did try to please the Lord and do what was right in the eyes of the Lord. It wasn't until he stopped following those ways and turned to his own ways that trouble came his way.
II Chronicles 27:7 "Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah."
II Chronicles 27:8 "He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem."
II Chronicles 27:9 "And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead."
Jotham tried to please God, and when he did, God blessed him greatly. This is a great lesson for us living today, for it is common today to turn our backs to the Lord when the blessings flow our way. In time we think that it was of our own accord that our fame and wealth came, and in time we take the credit that belongs to YHVH our heavenly Father. II Kings 15:37 tells us that: "In those days the Lord began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah [Israel]".
The children of Judah would not destroy their high places and high walls of traditions and wicked practices, so God sent the king of Syria, and Pekah, the king of Israel into Judah. The nations of Syria and Israel tore down and destroyed the high places in Jerusalem and Judah. II Kings 15:37; "In those days the Lord began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah [the king of Israel]." If a nation keeps on tempting the Lord by allowing wickedness to fill the land, and God's children will not turn their faces from that wickedness, God will step in and send His army to put an end to those ways.
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