Now, with the proper royal seed on the throne, and at such a young age, he needed proper guidance. Jehoiada, the High Priest, guided him along the way (until his death). In this period of time the king gave attention to the temple complex and noted its deterioration. The king took charge of the situation and contracted outside workers to work on the building (12:1-16). The remainder of the chapter does not spell out the quality of Jehoash’s reign, but it was not good (12:17-21; cf. 2 Chronicles 24:17-25).
Application: When proper guidance is followed much good can result, but as soon at that guiding force is gone, if the foundations are not in place, then becoming a piece of drift wood is ever so present. Jehoiada lived over 100 years and was a powerful influence in the king’s life. It appears, however, that in the undergrowth of the king’s moral compass was a desire to be no longer bound by a higher principle.