Joash King of Judah
Read Time: 12 minutes
Judah had been, for the most part, lead by kings who worshipped the one true God. However, the influence from idolatrous nations was ever present and one threat was even among their own brethren the Israelites. After Judah and Israel separated Israel never had a believing king. Usually Israel would have a king that would respect the prophet of God but they were still following idols. They would also influence Judah. God had told His people that if they didn't drive out the inhabitants of the land--those that didn't worship Him--they would be a snare unto them and cause them to fall away from worshipping God (Exodus 34:12-16). This is what happened to Israel. The Old Testament is for our learning so let us learn.
We see idolatry infect the kings of Judah in II Chronicles 21 and II Kings 8:16ff. Jehoshaphat King of Judah believed God but made a deal with Ahab King of Israel. They arranged to have Ahab's daughter, Athaliah, marry Jehoram. When Jehoram was made king over Judah he killed his brothers and as a result he did not have rest from the surrounding nations. He was heavily influenced by his wife and did evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab King of Israel. The consequences were devastating. The Arabians came in and spoiled the king's house carrying away his sons except for the youngest Jehoahaz (also called Ahaziah). Because Ahaziah had Athaliah as his mother he was heavily influenced by her also and didn't walk with God. He was consequently destroyed by Jehu (II Kings 9, II Chronicles 22). When Athaliah saw that her son Ahaziah was dead she began killing of the royal seed and usurped the throne in Judah for 6 years. Fortunately the daughter of Ahaziah and wife of Jehoiada the priest saved Joash, Ahaziah's son, alive and hid him in the house of God for those six years.
In II Kings 11 and II Chronicles 23 Jehoiada the priest strengthens himself; gathering together God's people and anointing captains over hundreds and setting up the Levites to minister.
II Chronicles 23
:1 And in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself,
and took the captains of hundreds,
Azariah the son of Jeroham,
and Ishmael the son of Jehohanan,
and Azariah the son of Obed,
and Maaseiah the son of Adaiah,
and Elishaphat the son of Zichri,
into covenant with him.
:2 And they went about in Judah,
and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah,
and the chief of the fathers of Israel,
and they came to Jerusalem.
:3 And all the congregation made a covenant with the king in the house of God.
And he said unto them,
Behold, the king's son shall reign,
as the LORD hath said of the sons of David.
Jehoida then set up the people around the house of the Lord and the King and the people were to keep the watch of the Lord. The Levites and all of Judah responded and Jehoida equipped the captains with the armor that had been King David's and prepared to anoint Joash King of Judah.
:11 Then they brought out the king's son,
and put upon him the crown,
and gave him the testimony,
and made him king.
And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said,
God save the king.
When Athaliah heard this she was fuming, she thought she had killed everyone off and now she was no longer in control. She was then killed, no more to influence God's people and draw them away from God. Then Jehoida the priest and the people made a covenant between them and King Joash that they should be the Lord's people. Then they proceeded to clean house destroying the house of Baal and its priest.
:18 Also Jehoiada appointed the offices of the house of the LORD
by the hand of the priests the Levites,
whom David had distributed in the house of the LORD,
to offer the burnt offerings of the LORD,
as it is written in the law of Moses,
with rejoicing and with singing,
as it was ordained by David.
:19 And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the LORD,
that none which was unclean in any thing should enter in.
:20 And he took the captains of hundreds,
and the nobles,
and the governors of the people,
and all the people of the land,
and brought down the king from the house of the LORD:
and they came through the high gate into the king's house,
and set the king upon the throne of the kingdom.
:21 And all the people of the land rejoiced:
and the city was quiet,
after that they had slain Athaliah with the sword.
The city was quite after the evil influences were destroyed. When the people returned to God, God could stay the hand of the adversary and rebuke the devourer.
I ask myself questions when reading through here: "Why did Jehoiada the priest have to orchestrate all of this? What is wrong with the king? Usually the king comes in with his men and takes over." Read on:
II Chronicles 24
:1 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign,
and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem.
His mother's name also was Zibiah of Beersheba.
:2 And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD
all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
This tells us a great deal. Joash was only 7 so he still needed counsel and protection. Also, he did right as long as Jehoiada was the priest was alive. He relied heavely on the counsel of others. During his reign they repaired the house of the Lord with the offerings of the people.
All was well as long as Jehoiada was priest. But then Jehoiada died:
:15 But Jehoiada waxed old,
and was full of days when he died;
an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died.
:16 And they buried him in the city of David among the kings,
because he had done good in Israel,
both toward God,
and toward his house.
:17 Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah,
and made obeisance to the king.
Then the king hearkened unto them.
[He was always very depended upon the counsel of others]
:18 And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers,
and served groves and idols:
and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.
:19 Yet he [God] sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD;
and they testified against them:
but they would not give ear.
:20 And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest,
which stood above the people, and said unto them,
Thus saith God,
Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD,
that ye cannot prosper?
because ye have forsaken the LORD,
he hath also forsaken you.
:21 And they conspired against him [Zechariah],
and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king
in the court of the house of the LORD.
:22 Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada
his [Zechariah's] father
had done to him,
but slew his son.
And when he died, he [Zechariah] said,
The LORD look upon it,
and require it.
:23 And it came to pass at the end of the year,
that the host of Syria came up against him:
and they came to Judah and Jerusalem,
and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people,
and sent all the spoil of them unto the king of Damascus.
:24 For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men,
and the LORD delivered a very great host into their hand,
because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.
So they executed judgment against Joash.
:25 And when they were departed from him,
(for they left him in great diseases,)
his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest,
and slew him on his bed,
and he died:
and they buried him in the city of David,
but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.
As long as the king followed the Word of God they prospered. When they fell away they stopped recognizing God's protection and the adversary took over. It is the consequences of their actions. God is not the author of death, the devil is. The way this is written does not give the glory to the devil for destroying God's people. See the Idiom of Permission in the Appendixes for a further explanation. This point is repeatedly seen throughout the Old Testament. Is this addressed to us? No. Can we learn from it? Most definitely.
Standing fast on the Word of God, claiming His promises and knowing who you are unleashes the power of God in your life.
:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms
and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Let the Word dwell richly. If your thoughts are negative and complaining and you are consumed thinking about your needs you are not letting God's Word dwell in you richly. God says He has it all taken care of. Put God first and whatsoever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus always giving thanks to God. You must put your head in the book and read it, write it down, put in on your walls, in your wallet, on your desk and most importantly in your heart.
:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so walk ye in him:
:7 Rooted and built up in him,
and stablished in the faith,
as ye have been taught,
abounding therein with thanksgiving.
When you make Jesus Christ Lord in your life and believe
that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10) you received Christ in you
the hope of glory. When you walk in him, doing the will of God learning His Word
proclaiming His Word, manifesting His power and speaking His Word you become
rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith. When you have God's Word
dwelling in your heart you are abounding with thanksgiving.
:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit,
after the tradition of men,
after the rudiments of the world,
and not after Christ.
:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead [head God] bodily. [no where else!]
:10 And ye are complete in him, [lacking nothing]
which is the head of all principality and power: [cannot get better than that]
:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands,
in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
:12 Buried with him in baptism,
wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God,
who hath raised him from the dead.
:13 And you, being dead in your sins
and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
hath he quickened together with him,
having forgiven you all trespasses;
:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us,
which was contrary to us,
and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Jesus Christ was the lamb of the first year without spot or blemish that was offered up for us all so that our sins would be paid for so that we are, once and for all, reconciled to God by His Son Christ Jesus. We are no longer encumbered by the sin that Adam conferred upon mankind we have been redeemed from the curse of the law. Jesus Christ blotted out that ordinance that was against us nailing it to his cross.
:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers,
he made a shew of them openly,
triumphing over them in it.
The adversary is defeated. We are more than conquerors no matter what is going on. Hold your head up and let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly. When you hold the Word and let the Word hold you, you will be walking in the fullness of the power of God.
The following is an excerpt from the last chapter in a book by Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille called Living Victoriously published by the European Christian Press (1987).
You live for God in absolute union because you are
identified with Christ in all he was, all he is, or all that Christ will
ever be. Being born again into the family and the household of god you have
absolute, legal rights to everything that every other son has.
Your judgement of yourself, or anyone else's judgement or opinion of you, is of absolutely no value whatsoever. Your are what God says you are. Paul said, "I don't even judge myself," and that is what we are talking about. Your judgement of yourself is irrelevant. What is relevant is what God's Word says. You are what the Word of God says you are; you have what the Word of God says you have; you will be what the World of God says you will be. You have got to let God loose in your life. Turn Him loose and you will paralyse the power of the adversary wherever you are.
When we recognize what we have and claim it we will walk victoriously. When we let thoughts in other than the Word they will plunder and steal. When you have errant thoughts replace them with God's wonderful matchless Word.
II Corinthians 10
:5 Casting down imaginations,
and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
God has blessed you abundantly.