What will happen to baby Archie?
If you’re unfamiliar with his story, let me catch you up. Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is a nine-month-old baby in the real-life drama now unfolding in England. Some might call it, “As the Royalty Turns.”
It seems Prince Harry and wife, taking baby Archie with them, have left Great Britain for Canada.
Harry has said he believes the paparazzi killed his mother, and he’s afraid of history repeating itself. But Harry fails to recognize that Diana made a mistake—the princess gave up her U.K. security. British officers would never have let Diana get into a car with a drunk driver.
Harry may now be required to relinquish his U.K. security, and Harry is vulnerable—ten years fighting in Afghanistan makes him a terrorist’s target. In other words, will Archie suffer Harry’s same childhood? Will this little boy grow up haunted by the untimely death of a parent?
There’s just such a baby in the Bible—also a royal prince. Joash is a year old when his father, King Ahaziah, is assassinated. The date is roughly 841 B.C.
Joash is a prince of Judah. Remember, by now Israel has split into two kingdoms. Judah is the southern half.
Just as Archie isn’t next in line to become king, neither is Joash. But the royal princes ahead of Joash suffer an ugly fate—they’re quickly murdered.
It seems King Ahaziah had been evil and so is his mother, Athalia. She’s nothing at all like the loving Queen Elizabeth. When Athalia learns of her son’s death, she seizes the throne and immediately kills all of her grandchildren.
Or so she thought.
Baby Joash is rescued by his aunt. This woman is married to the high priest, and they hide Joash in the temple in Jerusalem for seven years.
That’s when Scripture says this priest, who’s probably 90, gathers his courage: Old Jehoiada stages a military coup against Queen Athalia.
Jehoiada brings five army captains to the temple and makes them take an oath, probably of allegiance. He then shows them the king’s son. (2 Kings 11:4)
Remember, only Jehoiada and his wife knew that a royal son survived. These captains and Jehoiada now go throughout Judah and bring the Levites and others to the temple to see young Joash.
It’s a treacherous business. If there’s a leak anywhere, if Queen Athalia discovers they’re seizing the throne, she’ll kill them.
Jehoiada then divides the Levites and priests into three groups and tells them to unholster their weapons and keep them in their hands. They’re to stay close to the boy when he enters and leaves the temple.
The Hebrews are summoned to the courts of the temple. Jehoiada brings out Joash, sets a crown on his head, proclaims him king, and anoints him.
When Athalia hears the noise of people running and celebrating, she goes into the temple where she eyes the boy king. Trumpeters flank him as the Israelites rejoice.
Immediately, Athalia screams, “Treason! Treason!”
Jehoiada quickly summons the army captains he’d recruited and has Athalia taken to the palace and put to death. (2 Chronicles 23:1-15)
Joash was a holy king, following the words of the old priest until Jehoiada’s death at 130 years old. But then Joash changes and breaks God’s commandments. He’s condemned by a prophet who says, “Because you have forsaken the Lord, He has forsaken you.”
At this point, Joash might have remembered that his father had been assassinated some 50 years earlier for going against God. Instead, Joash executes the prophet.
Soon enough, history repeats itself and Joash is assassinated. (2 Chronicles 24:17-27)
Prince Harry risks repeating history by making his mother’s same mistake—by foregoing U.K. security. Hopefully, he’ll make a good decision and baby Archie won’t suffer the same family tragedy.
Examine your life. Are you repeating the same errors a parent or grandparent made? It could be anything. Perhaps they thought church wasn’t important or only went to gossip. You know; you’ve watched them and perhaps learned wrongly from them.
Are you in danger of hearing the words spoken to Joash: “Because you have forsaken the Lord, He has forsaken you.”
Lay your sins at the foot of the cross and ask for forgiveness. God loves you—He will help you change.
Copyright (c) 2020 R.A. Mathews all rights reserved. The Rev. Mathews is an attorney, faith columnist, and the author of “Reaching to God.” Write to her at [email protected]