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Another Path to Greatness

Updated on February 26, 2020
OGUNDARE OLUSEGUN profile image

Studying the bible is always good. For years, I have been studying the bible and I found it wonderful

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Introduction

There are different types of greatness in the world. There are different types of giants in the world. There are people who become great through the internet, some become great through their businesses, some it is through sports that they become great, while for some it is in politics, academics and so on.

I have seen on several occasions some who are great in a field and when they heard of the name of another person who is great in another field would respond that they have never heard of such name all their lives until the moment they are hearing it called. Incidentally they may even be living in the same city, yet they are unknown to each other neither have heard of each other’s name before.

Why is this? It is because they had no common front before nothing brought them together before.

I will want us to see the eulogy (as Bibletrack.org) says of the verse of a King of Judah who was obscure and lived a transient life in the world according to bible documentations.

The name of the person I am talking about is Jotham. Jotham was a king in Judah and there were other kings during his days and prior to his ascending the throne. How some of those Kings attained their greatness differs from how he attained his and the bible wishes all to know how he attained his in his documentary in the book of second chronicles 27.

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Jotham in Brief

Three Israelites bear the name Jotham in the bible (Jdg. 9:7; 2 Ki. 15:5; 2 Ch. 27:1). However, the Jotham that I wish to write on in this article is the King who reigned in Judah around 753-742 BC.

The name Jotham is written in Hebrew as “יותם” Romanized form is yôthâm (pronounced as yo-thawm') which means Jehovah is perfect.

The name of his mother was Jerushah and his father’s name was King Uzziah.

Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok. (2 Ch 27:1)

Jotham was the eleventh king of Judah. MacLaren says he was an obscure person, and that the year his father died, which presumably would be the first year of his reign, Isaiah the prophet says he saw the Lord. What brought about him seeing the Lord at this time was not stated by the prophet.

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.(Isa. 6:1)

Jotham Prior His Official Coronation

His father having done some good before the Lord towards the tail of his leadership erred and he was struck by God with leprosy in the temple. He was being quarantined, his son, Jotham steps into his place as the King of the land of Judah.

And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land. (2 Ch 26:21)

While leading he was following the fifth commandment by ruling in the name of his father. (Trinityurcvisalia.com)

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Exo 20:12)

Soon his father gave up the ghost and he was crowned officially in the place of his father.

After His Coronation

After his crowning Ammonites a country that his father has subdued which was bringing tributes unto the kingdom of Judah revolted and he rose against them and subdued them again such that the country was paying heavy taxes (tributes) to the nation of Judah.

He fought also with the king of the Ammonites, and prevailed against them. And the children of Ammon gave him the same year an hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon pay unto him, both the second year, and the third. (2 Ch 27:5)

He did some other things in the land of Judah, building the city, the wall and some other things. As he was doing these it was said of him that he was doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. Albeit, despite doing what was right before the Lord, the people of the land continued in their corrupt ways, but he did not allow their lifestyles to pollute him as he stands tall among the corrupt that pervade the nation.

The corruption that pervades the land then could be found in the account of the Prophets who operated during this time and they are Prophets Isaiah, Hosea and Micah. (Isa. 10:1-2; 30:2-3; Hos. 4:1-2)

His life corroborates what the apostle says that we though are in the world, but we are not of the world, thence we should, as believers, ensure that we do not pattern our lives according to the systems of the world, we need to stand out of the corruptions of our days.

He fought a good fight of faith living a righteous life among the crooked and perverse generation and he could be named among the godly kings in the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1:9.

The summary of how he lived his life, which resulted in his greatness in the land was found in the verse six of the book of second chronicles 27 which we shall examine.

What Brought About His Greatness

When a person is doing something, and he is yet to have a full grasp of what he or she is doing the person cannot be said to be mighty in the work he is doing. However, when the person has a full grasp of what he is doing the person would be spoken of as being mighty in what he is doing. This was what happened unto Jotham after a while, when he maintained his estate before the Lord it was stated of him that he became great in the land. being great (mighty) in this wise could be said to mean gain full control of the land.

So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God. (2 Ch 27:6)

Before we see those things that he did that made him great in the land, MacLaren says of this verse that, mighty (greatness) in the land of Israel is usually associated with outward blessings and according to theocratic constitution of Israel, faithfulness to God and material well-being went together.

This however cannot be stated about the christian lifestyles in the world today because God recognizes his covenant with the Israelites through Abraham those days, but today as believers such is not applicable. Some believers’ lives would be matched with outward blessings while for others the opposite would be the case for them, in fact some people would be called failures in the world, yet they are devoted believers by all standards.

MacLaren says of this that there are other factors operating to bring this to pass among those who are non-Israelites other than mere devotion to Jesus and his God.

However, for such people they would have power to do his will, power to bear, power to think aright, power to love, power to will, power to behold God, power to deny themselves, this essentially is the power to become the sons and daughters of God. This is our success.

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1. Preparation

It is being said that when one fails to prepare on plans to fail. This man is said to prepare his ways before the Lord.

So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God. (2 Ch 27:6)

Prepare in Hebrew word is “כּוּן” while the Romanized form is kûn (pronounced as koon) which means to set up, fashion, ordain, stand. This shows that the man fashioned his lifestyle according to the Lord.

Because he fashioned his lifestyle according to the ways of the Lord which has been shown unto him from the Lord, he was able to succeed.

Saul the first King in the land of Israel failed because he was not ready for the position he wants to occupy, because he wasn’t ready, he made regrettable mistakes that eventually costed him his life and the kingdom was taken off his family forever.

People who are not prepared for a position usually make regrettable mistakes. A person who is not ready for marriage when he gets married even if the marriage did not end in divorce there would be a lot of lost in the marriage. When some children are not primed for what they would encounter in schools when they started school, they would give their teachers lots of problems before they start coping, adjusting to the system.

Preparation is essential in all that we want to do in life, and this man shows how important this is by adequately preparing for the tasks ahead.

2. What Does He Prepare?

What he prepared was stated by the author and it was his ways.

So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God. (2 Ch 27:6)

Way is “דּרך” in Hebrew. The Romanized form is derek (phonetic spelling is deh'-rek) which means the road, mode of action, custom, conversation, manner.

How he goes about doing things while a leader in the kingdom was stated and one of it was learning from the mistakes of his father.

His father’s mistakes include pride and offering of incense in the temple which was contrary to the law of God.

But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense. (2 Ch 26:16)

This mistake costs his father a lot, and he learnt from him thence he never allowed that to happen unto him. He desisted from pride and above all did not enter the temple.

And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD. And the people did yet corruptly. (2 Ch 27:2)

Does it mean for all the time he spent as king he never stepped into the temple? This may not be so. Trinityurcvisalia.com says of this that entered not into the temple of the LORD means that he did not dare go there to go and offer un-authorized fire on the altar like his father did. This shows that he disciplined himself, puts himself under control and check, did not allow the position to overwhelm him such that he would become proud.

It is always good to learn from our leaders, those who are afore us, know their mistakes and try as best as you can to avoid those. But it is disturbing today, that history do repeat itself in the lives of many people because they fail to learn from their superiors.

3. Where Did He Prepare His Ways?

He prepared his ways before the Lord. He ensured that his customs, conversations and lifestyles is patterned according to the laws of the Lord.

So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God. (2 Ch 27:6)

He neither patterns his lifestyles according to the priests of the land nor the people of the land, but he lives for his Lord. He wasn’t satisfying anyone; his concern is satisfying the Lord alone.

It is those who have made the Jesus their Lord who can pattern their lifestyles according to the ways of Jesus, but those who have not would not be able to do so, indeed the apostle says they will consider the message of cross as foolishness.

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Co 1:18)

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4. Who the Lord Was to Him

This Lord to him was his God, his creator. He knows that Lord and God personally thus, he could neither do corruptly like others were doing nor make small gods for himself like other kings of the nations and countries that surround Judah.

MacLaren says, but a man that orders his ways and continues in ways thus ordered; before the Lord will for recompense get more power to order his ways and a power and more inspiring, less interrupted and more childlike vision of the Face that looks upon him. God’s eyes behold the upright and the upright looks at his eyes and in the exchange of glances there is power and in that power is the highest reward for ordered lives.

He beholds the Lord his God as a small child beholds his parents. He puts the Lord always before him and walks steadfastly before the Lord, unwavering in commitment and conscious of his presence always.

Trinityurcvisalia.com says, his walk before the Lord is like the walk of Jesus before his father when on earth, because he says it is what he sees his father doing that he does.

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (Joh 5:19)

These are what he did that brought him his greatness. This greatness was reflective of what was happening in the land of Judah during his days for the people of Judah also lived in superfluous wealth during his days as shown by those who were paying them taxes.

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His End

He did not rule for long before he was called home by God. As the bible says, he reigned for 16 years.

He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. (2 Ch 27:8)

Matthew Henry says of his short rulership that, Lord often eliminates wise and pious leaders and sends others whose foolishness and immoralities chastise a people that appreciated not their mercies.

The life of Jotham is a life

That should challenge all who are Godly minded, for some through allegiance to other gods become great, some through wars become great, some for satisfying people become great. But as for this blessed man, he becomes great because he knows his God and the bible says, “…: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. (Dan 11:32). He was indeed strong and did exploits through his knowledge of his God.

© 2020 OLUSEGUN

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