This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: (Matthew 1:2).

Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah (Matthew 1:17).

What could she do? Everyone was frozen with fear. No one intervened. No one stopped the murderous plot. Josaba  was just one woman with little power in the face of the evil queen named Athaliah who was determined to kill anyone who got in the way of her power lust. Athaliah was killing any person, adult or child, who had a rightful claim to the throne of David. What could anyone do to stop her?

When Josaba’s brother, the king, was murdered, her stepmother, Athaliah, made herself queen. Nearly all the descendants of David with a right to the throne had been killed in previous palace blood purges. Now, Josaba’s evil stepmom, Athaliah, began systematically murdering all remaining rightful heirs of David. This evil queen mother was even killing her own grandchildren, nephews, and nieces.

When everyone else was too afraid to do anything, Josaba bravely did something for God, for goodness, and for grace. She summoned all her courage. She went to the palace. She found baby Joash the son of the dead king and rightful heir to the throne. She stole him away to safety. Then hid him for seven years.

We don’t have to imagine what would have happened if she had been caught. She would have faced instant execution along with her family. However, Josaba’s courageous faith was honored by YAHWEH, the covenant God of Israel and Creator of the universe. So that when the time was right, Josaba and her husband devised a way to kill the evil queen mother and appointed Joash as the rightful king. Josaba’s brave actions preserved the promised royal lineage of King David.

Despite the blood, gore, intrigue, and courage that we find in this story, it is not from an episode of “Game of Thrones.” Instead, this is a story of courage from the Bible in 2 Chronicles chapters 21-23.

Every life is precious to God, so this story is important because a young child was saved from a power-deranged grandmother hellbent on genocide. This story is also important for each of us as well. Without Josaba’s courage, Jesus would have never come as Messiah, the promised descendant of David who would reign forever (1 Kings 9:5). We would not have a Savior, and we would be “without God and without hope in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).

Amazingly, God let eternity’s outcome rest on the decision of one woman to act courageously. If she didn’t risk her life, ours would be ruined. If she didn’t act in courageous faith, we would have no one in whom to place our faith. In that crucial moment, Josaba stepped into danger to bring salvation for Joash, for God’s people, and ultimately for us.

Each of us has a role to play in God’s great story of grace. When God created us in the womb of our mother, he fashioned us for a specific purpose in the world (Psalm 139:13-16). Satan is going to do everything he can to tell us our choices are personal and don’t matter that much to others. I’m sure he made sure Josaba heard something like that in her moment of decision. But, like this great but largely unknown Bible hero, we need to realize that our decisions matter to more people than we can imagine. So, when confronted with a choice of dangerous courage or easy complicity, let’s choose courage. We may never know how many people’s eternal future hang in the balance, but God does!

Peter reminded us of the importance of our choice long ago:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings (1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV11).

Let’s be courageous like Josaba. Let’s resist the devil and his lies. Let’s stand firm in our faith. Let’s act decisively for the cause of God, goodness, and grace.


Read more about Josaba (Jehosheba) in Wikipedia and in the Bible (2 Chronicles 22:10-12; 2 Chronicles 23:1-21).