Jotham, king of Judah, reigned at a unique time in the nations history because prophets such as Isaiah, Amos, and Micah were predicting the destruction of the kingdom when all was going well. Jotham’s father, king Uzziah, had restored Judah to a state similar to that of kings David and Solomon, and yet things were not the same. Perhaps the clearest sign that there was an internal problem was the leprosy that kept king Uzziah isolated for the last 10 years of his life.
Jotham took over his father’s responsibilities in 750 B.C., five years before king Tiglath-pileser of Assyria began his campaigns, heading in the direction of Israel. By the end of Jotham’s reign in 732 B.C., Gilead had been captured and the fall of Israel was eminent. The dramatic change Jotham witnessed in a short period of time most likely caused him to believe the predictions he had heard were true.
In some ways, it could be said that Jotham’s reign was like a bridge between the old way of life in which God’s people dwelt safe and secure in the Promised Land and a new way of life in which the Israelites would become targets of mass destruction. The Assyrian Empire was the first of many that would threaten Israel’s existence. Were it not for God’s divine protection, Judah would have been destroyed along with the northern kingdom of Israel. In spite of the corruption that existed within Judah, it says in 2 Chronicles 27:2, that Jotham “did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did.”
Jotham’s success was attributed to a steadfast focus on doing God’s will. It says in 2 Chronicles 27:6 that “he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.” You could say that Jotham was trained well by his father king Uzziah. No doubt Jotham had been raised to take over his father’s kingdom and was prepared from a young age to make wise decisions. The best evidence that Jotham was a disciplined and diligent leader was the lack of controversy or moral failure during his reign.
Although it may seem as if Jotham’s short reign was insignificant compared to his father king Uzziah’s, Jotham played an important role in keeping Judah stable during Israel’s initial defeat by king Tiglath-pileser. Perhaps the best thing that could be said about Jotham’s reign is that nothing happened.