Saturday, July 11, 2015

Reading 21: Joash, A Good King (Finally)

2 Chronicles 24:1-27

Joash broke the chain of bad kings that ruled over Judah. The two kings and one queen before him were considered bad rulers for they didn't follow God. Jehoram killed all his siblings when his father died and he came to the throne reigning 8 years. His youngest son, Ahaziah, became king because all of his brothers were killed by raiders. Ahaziah only ruled 1 year until he died and his mother became queen because all the other children were too young. Queen Ataliah set out to kill all of the rest of the royal family so she could have power. The only one who was saved was Joash, just a baby, when the High Priest, Jehoiada, took him and hid him in the temple. Jehoiada later would lead a revolt against the queen and Joash was crowned king at 7 years old.

Joash's history shows why he was a good king. His father and grandmother were bad rulers because they learned from the person previous to them who were bad kings. They had no example of following God. Since Joash was raised by a high priest in the Temple he was raised knowing God and thus followed God as King. This led him to repair the temple, which was in shambles because of the years of neglect and the raids it suffered at the hands of Queen Ataliah who plundered it to worship the false god Baal. He raised the money and repaired it back to its former glory.

When Jehoiada died Joash was swayed by bad advisors and they abandoned the newly repaired Temple and began worshipping false idols again. He set up the Asherah poles again and they worshipped false idols once more. God sent them prophets to try and bring them back, including Jehoiada's own son Zechariah, but to no avail. Joash was so far away from how he was raised he killed the son of the person who had saved him and raised him when he was an infant.

Example of a Asherah Pole
Because of Joash's two different lives, the God honouring one and the God rejecting one, his son who took the throne, Amaziah, kind of followed God but kinda did not. He listened to the law of God but when God sent a prophet to warn him about the recruits he was hiring he ignored God. He followed the example of both his father and the advisers he had surrounded himself with.

We learn from Joash to be careful who we surround ourselves with. When we look for people to advise us and to pour wisdom into us we need to make sure it is advice and wisdom that keep us on track with God and doesn't guide us down paths that can wreck our lives.

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