GAME OF THRONES
Adapted from George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy novel series “A Song of Ice and Fire”, on the 17th of April 2011, fans were introduced to the gripping and exhilarating series known as Game of Thrones. Set in the fictional Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and the
continent of Essos the series chronicles the violent dynastic struggles among the realm’s noble families for the Iron Throne. The show vividly calls to mind intrigue and wars of succession, as is in the story of Queen Athalia (2 Kings 11:1-12)
Queen Mother Athalia was the mother of King Ahaziah and wife of King Jehoram; who was a King of Judah. She was a vicious and murderous Queen who, at the death of her son King Ahaziah, proceeded to destroy the whole Royal family of the house of Judah. All her actions towards ascending the throne were driven by the specific purpose of ensuring that there is no living heir to the throne, giving her a legitimate claim to the throne. This homicidal spirit was first exhibited by her husband King Jehoram, who at the death of his father King Jehoshaphat, decided to “…put all his brothers to the sword along with some of the princes of Israel” (2 Chronicles 21:4
The murderous Queen Mother was the daughter of Queen Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab. Queen Jezebel orchestrated the death of Naboth because he refused to give his vineyard to Ahab, she also vowed to hunt down and kill Prophet Elijah because he had put all the Prophets of Baal to death. Queen Athalia’s mother paved her way by killing her opponents and those who posed a threat to her husband, Ahab.
Queen Athalia’s husband also, King Jehoram, removed any possible heir to the throne in establishing his kingdom. It is no wonder then that she too, fearing that there might meet another who makes a claim to the throne, decided to obliterate the Royal family. Although her husband, King Jehoram, had a legitimate claim to the throne, his fear of a coup, whether real or perceived, caused him to murder all his brothers. Fear can drive us to such an absurd level of insanity that we might not even enjoy all that we have because we are busy trying so hard to keep it in our possession.
More often than not, we end up giving rise to the object of our fear by our very own behavior. But whatever God has given to you, whatever it is that you have a legitimate claim to by divine appointment, any attempt you make at protecting it by your own means and sophistry; will see you eventually lose it after spending a lot of time not enjoying the blessing.
Unlike King Jehoram, Queen Athalia could not have destroyed the Royal house because she was eliminating the “competition”, after all she did not have a legitimate right to the throne. As was the custom of the time, the King’s son was next in line. She was also aware of the fact that she could have still carried out her evil agenda though she was not the ruler in Judah. Clearly there was no need for her to kill the entire Royal family to carry out her agenda; she could have achieved her end without spilling any blood but her evil and greedy heart did not find pleasure in ruling Judah through the King anymore. She had to be the sole ruler.
If our success is gained by squeezing blood out of others, through sabotage and the use of underhanded tactics then that success is built on the bed of evil is a façade. Many of us walk around with so much pomp, claiming to be Kings and Queens, but a pertinent question we need to ask ourselves is how the path was laid leading to our thrones. Many of us leave carnage and a plethora of destroyed lives and broken hearts, all in the name of success. Queen Athalia wanted to rule at all costs and there was nothing that was going to stand in her way.
As the story continues, we meet Princess Jehosheba. She was the sister to the late King Ahazia, a daughter to King Jehoram and she was the wife of a Priest; Jehoiad. When she noticed that the Queen Mother was going insane, she took Joash, her nephew, one of King Ahazian’s sons and stole him away from among the royal princes who were about to be murdered. She took the boy and his nurse to the temple and spoke to her husband and asked to have them hidden away from the evil grandmother.
For six years the boy was hidden in the temple and on the seventh year, the priest called all the government officials who were still loyal to the throne and were opposed to Athalia’s wicked rule. All the officials took a vow that they will not divulge the content of the secret the priest was to entrust them with. He made the announcement that the king is alive and gave certain instructions on the security measures that ought to be met at his inauguration in the temple.
After having briefed the officials, the Priest eventually brought the young King forth and upon his entering the room, they all hailed him “long live the king”. At an epic turn of events, the Queen mother was killed and the young Joash was eventually crowned King.
No matter how hard she tried to cling onto a throne that was not hers by divine order and prevent the rightful King from ascending it, she would have failed. Nothing and no one can ever successfully block God’s purpose and destiny for your life.
David was anointed to rule over Israel, Saul tried to prevent it, but he failed.
Joseph was destined to rule over his brothers, they tried to thwart God’s plan, but they suffered a humiliating failure.
Samson was born to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines, Delilah collaborated with his enemies to prevent that from happening, but eventually God’s plan stood.
We might take a detour, but the destination will remain unchanged, never quit the journey though the road may seem longer that you had anticipated.
God give us peace, help us be content and reassure us this day again that all things work together for good for those who LOVE the Lord and are CALLED according to his purpose.