2 Chronicles 27 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all his father Uzziah had done (although he did not enter the temple of the Lord.) But still the people acted corruptly. He built the Upper Gate of the house of the Lord, and he built extensively on the wall of Ophel. Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built fortresses and towers. He also fought with the king of the Ammonites and defeated them. And the people of Ammon gave him in that year one hundred talents of silver, ten thousand kors of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. The people of Ammon paid this to him in the second and third years also. So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the Lord his God. Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars and his ways, indeed they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. So Jotham rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the City of David. Then Ahaz his son reigned in his place.
I love the Old Testament. There’s so much meat there and so much that applies to me today. I love the fact that it’s thousands of years old and still relevant today. Jotham reigned sometime around 750-700 BC. And is still a good role model for us today. He was a good example of one who held fast and persevered and these are traits that are so lacking in many people today. How many of us have started projects and never finished them? How many of us have made promises we didn’t keep? How many of us have made a commitment to the Lord and find that we are not as diligent or steadfast as we had promised?
Jotham was only 25 years old when he became king of Judah and he reigned 16 years, 11 of which were apparently as co-regent with his father Uzziah who was struck with leprosy because he failed to worship God as instructed. Jotham’s mother was the daughter of a priest which gives some indication that she lived a righteous life. Jotham walked righteously before the Lord and executed true justice in Judah but seemed to have little effect of the people for many of them continued to walk In corrupt ways and to worship false gods.
While serving as king, Jotham carried out a public works program and completed several major building projects. These included the rebuilding of the upper gate of the temple that stood near the palace. This was the major gate used by the king and his royal officials. He also repaired part of the wall of Jerusalem in addition to building towns, forts, and military lookout towers. These were necessary for military defense and for storing food, supplies, and weapons.
King Jotham was blessed mightily by the Lord and grew more powerful throughout the years of his reign. God continued to bless him as he remained faithful to the Lord. He was steadfast in following the Lord, persevering throughout his entire life, unlike many people who start out well and end up forsaking the Lord or falling away. Jotham followed God though no others appeared to be doing so. He remained faithful and kept his commitments to the Lord and to his people.
James reminds us that saving faith and righteous works go hand in hand (James 2:14-24). Faith is the root of our salvation and good works are the fruit of our salvation. The works are the result not the cause. We are saved by grace through faith but saving faith, if it is real, will result in faithfulness. The evidence will be demonstrated by the changes it produces in our lives. Just as Jotham demonstrated his faith in God by remaining faithful in his working for God, so should we. As believers, we are to love the Lord, and to be faithful in following Him. We are to persevere to the end, just as Jotham did. 1 Cor. 15:58 says “Therefore, my beloved people, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain for the Lord.”