2 Chronicles 24

2 Chronicles 24 has Joash taking the throne at age 7.  Very young but under the arm of Jehoiada the priest who had placed him there after getting rid of Athaliah the evil queen.  Johoiada’s influence was strong so “Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest….Joash decided to restore the house of the Lord”.  This seems to indicate that when Jehoiada died, Joash no longer did what was right in the sight of the Lord, which is exactly what happens when Joash turned to idolatry when Jehoiada died, and God’s judgment followed.

Joash instructs the Levites to collect taxes to repair the house of the Lord.  He knew that a prosperous and secure kingdom mattered little if God was neglected.  But the Levites did not do it quickly as he had instructed, so the king goes to the people with his requirement directly.  An amazing response happens.  “All the princes and all the people rejoiced and brought their tax and dropped it into the chest”.  No mention of any resistance, although that seems to be what the Levites were fearful of in their failure to get behind the repairs.

 

They restored the house of God to its proper condition and strengthened it….they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord regularly all the days of Jehoiada”.  Things were not just run down.  Athaliah and her sons had deliberately taken things from the temple and destroyed parts of it.  So there was much to do, but they finished it and then Jehoiada dies which changes everything.  He was the guiding light for Joash, and now this young king is getting counsel from the wrong people.  “The princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king….the king listened to them….abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols”.

In Jehoiada we see the influence of one man. One man can change a kingdom. One man can challenge and lead people to repent from sin. One man can lead his people to serve God.  But unfortunately Joash doesn’t slowly move away from God – it’s a dash to the other side toward evil.  Zechariah comes to confront him as Jehoiada’s son, a prophet of God.  “Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you”.  Not a popular thing, confronting the king, so “Joash the king did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but killed his son”.  That’s one way to silence truth.

There are some ironies in this story:

  • The people did not listen to the command of the LORD, but they did listen to the evil command of King Joash
  • Joash responded to the kindness of Jehoiada with cruelty to his son
  • Zechariah was murdered in the same place where his father Jehoiada had anointed Joash king

And the story does not end well.  Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord while Jehoiada was alive, but now faces judgment.  God sends the Syrian army and “the Lord delivered into their hand a very great army, because Judah had forsaken the Lord….they executed judgment on Joash”.  Another example of failing to finish strong.

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