2 Chronicles 23
The wicked queen Athaliah had ruled over Judah for six years, and I bet it was an awful six years. Just imagine living in a land where the person in charge had arrived at that position by murdering her own family. If she could treat her own relatives with such cold brutality, how do you think she would treat strangers? The fact that "all the people of the land rejoiced" after Athaliah was killed would suggest that they were very happy to be out from under her thumb.
The covenant that God had made with the tribe of Judah promised that a descendant of David would sit on the throne forever. Athaliah thought she had destroyed all the descendants of David—and so did everyone else. That’s how she got away with ruling for six years. Nobody knew that there were any alternatives. Little Joash was hidden away in the temple for safekeeping, and only a couple of people knew he was there. Until it was time for him to be crowned king, all the citizens of Judah thought they were stuck with a wicked queen.
Imagine what a surprise it must have been when Jehoiada brought Joash out of hiding, revealing to the priests, Levites, and captains that there was indeed a living heir to the throne. They must have been totally shocked! (And relieved.)
I think something similar happens in our lives. Often, we live under the bondage and slavery of sin, controlled by lusts, addictions, or sinful habits. We may even think that we are in control of these problems—not realizing that, in reality, they are in control of us. But we don’t have to live under the tyranny of sin, just like the residents of Judah didn’t have to live under the tyranny of Athaliah. There was a legitimate king ready to advance to the throne of Judah, and there is also a legitimate King ready to reign in our lives.
When God is revealed, and when we welcome Him to sit on the throne of our hearts, He dethrones evil. Evil can no more exist in His presence than Athaliah could remain on the throne alongside Joash. No matter how long we have lived under the tyranny of sin, God is willing to liberate us. We may now be in bondage to sin, but we don’t have to stay that way. When we invite God to reign in our lives, He will dethrone all the evil that lurks in our hearts.