KEY SCRIPTURE: 2 Chronicles chapters 23-24
RELEVANCE At times we all think we do our Christian life on our own. But making decisions with the wrong consultation leaves us with the wrong outcome.
King Joash was seven years old when he came to the throne of Judah. All kings have advisors, whether they listen to them or not. But naturally, at that age, he would undoubtedly need a good one. As it turned out, his advisor was Jehoiada, the priest, a great mentor and guide.
We've learned from scripture that not all priests followed the Lord. However, Jehoiada was from the lineage of good priests. To him, it was more than a job; he was a priest in his heart!
Although it had been around 140 years since the death of King David, Jehoiada sought, through Joash, to reinstate David's temple practices and worship. It all happened. As a child, Joash was passionate about restoring Judah's lost faith in God.
With Joash's sanctioning, Jehoiada completed the work. He cleaned the Temple from where the previous Queen Athaliah had all but annihilated it. He organised the priests and Levites, the singers and worshippers, and the burnt offerings. He also assembled the people to destroy the false altars and places of false worship.
These godly actions created great rejoicing and quietness from evil throughout the land. When we live for the Lord, our lives also have notable changes.
While Jehoiada was alive, Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Jehoiada was a wall of righteousness for Joash, allowing Joash time to grow into a solid, firm believer, following the path of righteousness like King's Asa and Jehosophat before him.
2 Chronicles 24:2 states the situation clearly. And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
Some of us may act similarly while mentors and elders oversee our lives. We remain godly when they're close enough to give us direction, answer questions, and direct our inquiries toward God. But after that, it's more complicated. We find we're not as mature in the Lord as we thought, reverting to our own wisdom when making decisions.
Following the death of Jehoiada, some ungodly princes who preferred godless activities convinced Joash to undertake a godless path. His belief in God changed slowly at first, then rapidly. He unravelled all the goodness he brought to Judah, all the cultural and spiritual changes, dismissing his covenant with his people and reversing the Lord's many blessings. Personally, he fell a long way from grace, and because he was King, Judah also lost her covering grace.
The Lord tried to turn him back from his foolishness, sending Jehoiada's own son, a prophet, to tell him that God would be against him if he continued on that pathway. What did Joash do? He brutally killed, even stoned him to death.
Humans avoid the Lord and those who try to dissuade them from wrong pursuits when they sin. They can even hate their presence. Jesus made an interesting quotation that we cannot have two masters. He spoke about money, but we can broaden that across the full range of sins. We cannot serve two masters because we will love one and hate the other. And when in sin, we hate God because we follow our own will. That is precisely what Joash did.
In the end, some servants murdered him. The people disliked him so much for transgressing the Lord's commandments and returning Judah to sin; his dignitaries wouldn't even bury him in the tomb of the kings.
So what happened to Joash that is relevant to us? When we are full of Jesus Christ, Satan cannot sow ideas in our heads trying to veer us away from Salvation and living a beautiful life. He can only try. There is no room for the seed of wicked thoughts to sprout because the Holy Spirit leads us, and we follow wholeheartedly. Trouble comes when we leave a little room for sin. It's like finishing a meal and leaving room for a sugary dessert. With sin, though, a small amount grows like a weed throughout all our thoughts. Years later, when those thoughts have done their job on us, we don't resemble anything like our former godly selves.
Our job is to ensure our heart is unlike the half-hearted Joash. Jehoiada may have witnessed this weakness as Joash grew and hoped for the best, knowing Joash may not be strong enough once he is gone.
Jehoiada worked hard to encourage the growth of another righteous king, but as is evidenced, Joash's roots were not deep. When the winds of sin blew, Joash was like a cloud without water, carried about of winds; a tree without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots. Life was challenging without his Jehoiada, his wall of righteousness. Joash now had to make his own mind up, leaving his own faith to underpin his decisions. But it hadn't grown deep enough and could not support him in times of trouble when faith needs actions.
The presence of the Holy Spirit, who never dies, is our Jehoiada, and our tomb of the kings is Heaven. The Holy Spirit always points us toward God's Word for our strength, peace, and right choices. Our job is to grow deep roots of trust so we can follow His lead when adverse issues arise because the decisions are ours.
PRAYER Dear Lord, please continue to guide me as I seek your presence. I need thee every hour as the wicked whisperer seeks to turn me from your pathway. Thank you for the work you have already done within me.
Photo by Brett Jordan