2 Kings 11:13-21

13 When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people in the house of the Lord. 14 She looked and behold, the king was standing by the pillar, according to the custom, with the captains and the [h]trumpeters beside the king; and all the people of the land rejoiced and blew trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!” 15 And Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of hundreds who were appointed over the army and said to them, “Bring her out [i]between the ranks, and whoever follows her put to death with the sword.” For the priest said, “Let her not be put to death in the house of the Lord.” 16 So they [j]seized her, and when she arrived at the horses’ entrance of the king’s house, she was put to death there.

17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people, that they would be the Lord’s people, also between the king and the people. 18 All the people of the land went to the house of Baal, and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces thoroughly, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed [k]officers over the house of the Lord. 19 He took the captains of hundreds and the Carites and the [l]guards and all the people of the land; and they brought the king down from the house of the Lord, and came by the way of the gate of the [m]guards to the king’s house. And he sat on the throne of the kings. 20 So all the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet. For they had put Athaliah to death with the sword at the king’s house.

21 [n]Jehoash was seven years old when he became king.

Verse 20 kind of stands out, as it seems like it contradicts itself. Especially if you’ve seen the riots of our day and the noise and mess they create. But the people of Judah were celebrating the triumph of good, and it caused quite a different scene. And I think you probably wouldn’t be going too far to say that “quiet” meant peace, or that the city was at peace. No doubt there was great rejoicing, but when your reason for celebrating is good, you tend to not want to do evil things like breaking into buildings and stealing property.

But when your motives are unjust, you get just the opposite. It seems easy to tell whether motives are just and true by the results of the people who are protesting or seeking social/political justice. When there is a wake of damage and destruction, who wants to hear that message? So if you want to be a voice for change like Jehoiada was, do it right, keep your motives pure, and do not follow a path of evil.

If you do otherwise, you put a stain of ill-repute on whatever cause you are striving to bring forward, and that helps no one, especially not you.

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