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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, February 15, 2004

"And he was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land" (II Chronicles 22:12).

It is quite dangerous to be young in America today. One out of every seven young people has been killed by abortion - 44 million of your generation. If you happen to make it past the abortionist's knife, you face many other perils in our culture. Most of your generation grow up in broken homes, and even when parents stay together, the home is usually dysfunctional. With both parents working, you come home to an empty house. Families don't sit down to eat together. There is little conversation between parents and children. Kids are stuck in day care. There isn't much family discipline. And many children sense that something has gone terribly wrong. You feel unloved, unwanted - and alone. I believe that loneliness is the number one problem facing young people today.

And when you protest in some way, they grab you and take you to the doctor, and they put you on an antidepressant - like Prozac, Zoloft, or Ritalin. Now the Los Angeles Times reports that "Parents Blame Medicines for Suicides" (Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2004, p. A8). Baloney! Suicide is caused by depression, and depression is caused by our materialistic, lonely, disjointed life style! Kids are depressed because they are lonely. They are lonely because their families are disconnected. And their families are disconnected because we have lost contact with God! That's what's wrong with young people in America - and throughout the Western world!

Time magazine has a news story titled, "Prescription for Suicide?" (Time, February 9, 2004, p. 59). This news report says, "About 2 million teens in the U.S. have clinical depression…but 3 million kids have suicidal thoughts" (ibid., p. 60). Time gave the story of one of them, a 12 year old girl.

[She] had been on the antidepressant Paxil for seven months when she committed suicide…on June 7, 2001. [She] pinned a note to her chest reading, "By the time you find me I'll be dead. I love you with all my heart…" She hooked a bungee cord onto a plate hanger on the wall, wrapped the cord around her neck and pulled against it until she passed out. Within minutes she was dead (ibid., p. 59).

People are now saying that these kids are being killed by antidepressants. That may be the immediate cause - but the roots of it go far deeper. The pandemic of depression and suicide among our young people is rooted in the fact that our whole culture has gone wrong. Pat Buchanan calls it "the culture of death," and I for one agree with him!

That's exactly the way it was when Joash was a child. When Athaliah heard that her son, King Ahaziah, was dead, she plotted to seize the throne for herself. She murdered her own grandchildren - and everyone else in the royal family. When all the heirs to the throne were dead, she proclaimed herself Queen. But a godly woman named Jehoshabeath took Joash, one of the dead king's children, and hid him "in the house of God" (II Chronicles 22:12).

Oh, how this verse speaks to young people today!

"And he was with them hid in the house of God…and Athaliah reigned over the land" (II Chronicles 22:12).

We will draw three lessons from this text.

I. First, it was an evil time to live.

Look at verse ten.

"But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah" (II Chronicles 22:10).

The Bible calls her, "Athaliah, that wicked woman" (II Chronicles 24:7). She makes me think of the evil Queen in "Snow White" - a cruel, vicious person. I see the murderous glint of Athaliah in the eyes of abortionists and their supporters.

In Greek mythology, the Harpies were defiling monsters, half bird, half woman. "Choice" is but a euphemism for "murder." The modern Harpies are pro-murder - like their prototype, Athaliah. Four out of every seven black babies have been pierced by their cruel talons. One out of every seven white babies has been shredded by their bloody beaks.

Am I wrong to compare these women to Athaliah? I think not. The classical commentator, Matthew Henry, said,

Grandmothers have been thought more fond of their grandchildren than they were of their own; yet [the king's] mother is the wilful murderer of [the king's] own sons, and in their infancy too, when she was obliged, above any other, to nurse them and take care of them. Well might she be called "Athaliah, that wicked woman" (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, Hendrickson, 1996, vol. 2, page 596).

There are far too many woman of this type in high positions in our nation.

No wonder your generation is so small, so withered, so fragile, so depressed, so suicidal! No wonder they call you the "X Generation." The very name of your generation comes from Malcolm X, a man who felt cut off, alone, and helpless, in a nation of godless materialism, a man without a country, without a home, and without a name. Your generation shaves its head, pierces its tongue, tattoos its body, drugs its mind, and finally kills itself - all in a vain attempt to escape from Athaliah's false world - the barren, blood-sprinkled land that we call America.

Ah, America of my grandfather, how I love you! America of the Pilgrims, of Washington, and Lincoln, and Bryan, how my heart cherishes your memory!

O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountains majesties Above the fruited plain!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet, Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness.

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life!
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self control, Thy liberty in law!
   ("America the Beautiful" by Katharine Lee Bates, 1859-1929).

That was my grandfather's anthem and my mother's hymn! Sad day, day of horror and darkness, when prayer to God was taken away from school children, God turned on us and my president, John Kennedy, lay in a pool of blood! Sad day, day of horror and darkness, when "the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" was stripped from helpless babies, God turned on us, and my president, Richard Nixon, was drowned in a whirlpool of political intrigue and malice. Our nation has never gotten over these two horrors - and probably never will. Sad day, day of darkness and despair - when they put our kids on Ritalin so they could go and party and play - and left the children all alone - to commit suicide! Only God can save our nation now!

When the Roman soldiers came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ said,

"This is your hour, and the power of darkness" (Luke 22:53).

By this, He referred to Satan. Entering into His agony in Gethsemane, Jesus said,

"Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world [Satan] cometh, and hath nothing in me" (John 14:30).

"This is your hour, and the power of darkness."

That "hour" was turned over to the pagan Romans, and to the powers of Satan. And so it was in the days of Athaliah the Queen - when little Joash was "hid in the house of God" (II Chronicles 22:12). It was an evil time for a young boy to live - and it is an evil time for you young people to live in now.

II. Second, it was a time of God's provision.

I have never forgotten the words of a song we sang in the Baptist church of my childhood,

This is my Father's world, O let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
   ("This Is My Father's World" by Maltbie T. Babcock, 1858-1901).

God rules yet - though it may not seem like it. It must not have seemed like God was in control when that little boy was hidden from slaughter in the house of God. But "God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform," as another old hymn puts it.

And God was working behind the scenes to protect and save this child. God used the boy's aunt, Jehoshabeath, wife of the high priest, to save him. Matthew Henry tells us,

The person that delivered him was his own aunt…for God will raise up protectors for those whom he will have protected (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, Hendrickson, 1996 reprint, volume 2, p. 596).

Here we have a marvelous picture of God providing for the safety of this child. And isn't there a parallel to this in your own life? Someone brought you here to church to hear the gospel. When I was a young person, someone did that for me. The people next door took me as a thirteen-year-old boy to a Baptist church for the first time in my life. I've been coming to church ever since! I still phone the man who took me to church with his family. I call him every week at his home in Vernon, Texas. He is now eighty-six years old, and I think of him as a father. I thank God that He provided that Baptist family to bring me to church when no one else cared for my soul. There, in that church, I heard the gospel - and later I got saved.

I suppose nearly every person in church here this morning could tell a similar story. Someone talked with you. Someone brought you to church. God used someone to provide a way for you to hear the gospel of Christ and be saved.

There are many young people here for the first time this morning. God used someone in our church to go and invite you to come. Someone came in a car to pick you up and bring you to the house of God for this service. Why did they go to all the trouble of bringing you here this morning? Because Jesus told us to in the Bible. Jesus said,

"Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled" (Luke 14:23).

Jesus said,

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

"Compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." We brought you here this morning because Jesus told us to do it. And as Joash's aunt took care of him, we will do our best to take care of you. Why? Because you are important to us. You are a special person to us. You aren't just another young person. We think you are the most important person in the world - and we love you. That's the reason we say, "Why be lonely? Come home - to church! Why be lost? Come home - to Jesus Christ the Son of God!"

"And he was with them hid in the house of God…and Athaliah reigned over the land" (II Chronicles 22:12).

III. Third, it was a time of salvation.

The story of this child's salvation from death is given twice in the Bible. The first account is given in II Kings 11:2. Please turn there in your Bible.

"And they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain" (II Kings 11:2).

Jehosheba and her husband hid Joash and his nurse in one of the bedrooms adjoining the Temple, in a chamber of the priests in the Temple. They smuggled the baby into these Temple quarters until the evil Queen Athaliah was dethroned.

This reminds us of Jochebed, the mother of Moses. When Moses was born in Egypt, the Pharaoh was killing all the male Hebrew children. But when Moses was born, his mother "hid him three months" (Exodus 2:2).

The "hiding" of Moses and Joash are both pictures of salvation. As David said,

"In the time of trouble he [God] shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me" (Psalm 27:5).

This is a picture of a person coming into the local church.

"And the Lord added to the church [in Jerusalem] daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47).

In the "time of trouble" come into God's "tabernacle," the local church! The church is the place to make Christian friends! The church is the place where your loneliness can be healed. The church is the place where you will hear the gospel preached and be saved by trusting Christ. "Why be lonely? Come home - to church! Why be lost? Come home - to Jesus Christ the Son of God!"

Be in this local church every time the door is open! But, more than that, come all the way in - to Christ!

"In the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me" (Psalm 27:5).

"In the secret [place] of his tabernacle shall he hide me." That "secret place" is Jesus Christ, Himself.

"Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance" 
    (Psalm 32:7).

"Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence"
    (Psalm 31:20).

Jesus said,

"I am the door: by me if any man shall enter in, he shall be saved" (John 10:9).

Jesus is "the door" to salvation. If you enter in, to Christ, you will be able to say,

"Thou shalt hide [me] in the secret of thy presence"
    (Psalm 31:20).

Jesus, Lover of my soul, Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll, While the tempest still is high;
Hide me, O my Saviour, hide, Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last!
   ("Jesus, Lover of My Soul" by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

Hiding in Thee, Hiding in Thee,
Thou blest "Rock of Ages," I'm hiding in Thee.
   ("Hiding in Thee" by William O. Cushing, 1823-1902).

Come to Christ! He died on the Cross to pay for your sins! He rose from the dead and ascended back to Heaven. He is alive up there, at the right hand of God! Come into this church every time the door is open. Then come fully to Christ and He will save you by His Blood and righteousness. Hide from the fierce wrath of judgment - in the Son of God!

"And he was with them hid in the house of God…and Athaliah reigned over the land" (II Chronicles 22:12).

Come in to the local church. Come all the way in - to Christ. Do it! Do it! Do it!


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: II Kings 11:1-3.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"Jesus, Lover of My Soul" (by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788)/
"Hiding in Thee" (by William O. Cushing, 1823-1902).



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"And he was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land" (II Chronicles 22:12).

I.   It was an evil time to live, II Chronicles 24:7; Luke 22:53;
John 14:30.

II.  It was a time of God's provision, Luke 14:23; Mark 16:15.

III. It was a time of salvation, II Kings 11:2; Exodus 2:2; Psalm 27:5;
Acts 2:47; Psalm 32:7; Psalm 31:20; John 10:9.

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