Wednesday, November 8
Today’s chapters can get a bit confusing with so many kings coming and going – some from Judah and some from Israel and some from the neighboring lands – most of them evil and lots of them having a name starting with J. Confusing! It can be helpful to look up a chart of the kings of the divided kingdom, such as:
It also can be helpful to compare the accounts of the Kings, with those of the Chronicles as they overlap in telling the stories of the kings of Israel and Judah.
Joash has a tough but protected start in life The young baby is hidden away in the temple for 6 years to avoid being murdered by his own grandma, the ruling Queen Athaliah. When Joash is 7 years old Jehoida the priest determines the time is right to bring him out of hiding, kill Athaliah and set up Joash as king. 2 Kings 12:2 says “Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoida the priest instructed him.” Joash did a lot of good, including collecting money to repair the temple. However, to get the total picture of Joash, (unlike the chart above) we must look ahead to 2 Chronicles 24:17-25 which shows that after the death of Jehoida Joash began listening to the officials of Judah. They stopped worshiping God and turned to the false god Asherah instead. They ignored the prophets of God who brought warnings. Zechariah, the son of Jehoida who had protected and mentored the young king, told the people, “Why do you disobey the Lord’s command? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.” (2 Chronicles 24:20) Rather than repenting, King Joash ordered Zechariah to be stoned. He no longer strived to do what was right in the eyes of the Lord; in fact, he appears to be working hard to do the opposite.
Perhaps you, like Joash, have had a protected start in life. Hopefully Godly people (parents, SS teachers, youth leaders, pastors) have been there to mentor you, guide you, instruct you and protect you when dangers raged outside. And if you are reading this there is a very good chance that like young Joash you are seeking to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord. Well done! That is a great start! But as we see with Joash, a great start does not guarantee a strong finish. Beware of who you listen to. Beware of unGodly advice and anyone who urges you to do or believe what is not pleasing to God. Keep Godly advisors and mentors in your life. Studying God’s Word today is a great way to prevent the beginning of the slippery slope in your life tomorrow.
Praying for Your Strong Finish – and Mine,