May 31. Joash Reins in Judah

II Kin. 12:1-21; II Chron. 24:1-27

During the first few years of Joash’s rein, he was advised and led by Jehoiada, the high priest. He remained faithful to God as long as Jehoiada lived. It is important that young people have someone influential in their lives who will lead them in the right way.

As the young king grew older, he was distressed at the condition of the temple of God. The last few kings before him had turned from the worship of God and had worshipped the god, Baal. Their neglect of the temple had caused it to fall into severe disrepair. Joash instituted a fundraising campaign to secure money to pay for the temple’s repair.

In the twenty-third year of Joash’s reign, he began to oversee the temple’s repair because the priests had neglected to take that responsibility. Eventually, the repairs were complete.

Jehoiada was a great man. He had been a close advisor to King Joash, but at the age of one hundred thirty years, he died. He was buried with the kings because he had done much good during his lifetime.

Unfortunately, many men are influenced by bad advice after their chief source of counsel has died—whether a godly father or godly mother or in the case of Joash, the high priest of God. He listened to the leaders of Judah and turned to worshipping idols instead of continuing to worship the living God. Even after hearing warnings from the prophets and later Jehoiada’s son, Zechariah, they did not return to the Lord.

Jehoiada had protected, mentored, led and advised Joash for many years. When his son delivered the message, “Because you have forsaken the Lord, He also has forsaken you,” Joash had the messenger stoned to death. How soon sometimes one forgets the kindness of another person.

The spring of the next year, the Lord allowed the Syrians to invade Judah. They killed the leaders of the land and took the spoils back to Damascus. Joash’s own servants assassinated him and he was succeeded to the throne by his son, Amaziah.