2 Chronicles 24:2—Joash did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight throughout the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest. (NLT)
It’s the classic story of a good boy who turns out to be a rotten man. The wicked mother of King Ahaziah decided upon his death to become queen. She slaughtered the entire royal family except for Joash, a baby boy that Jehoiada the priest was able to hide from her. When Joash turned seven, Jehoiada made his move. With the help of five army commanders and the Levites, he placed the crown on King David’s descendant. Then the commanders executed the treason-yelling Queen Athaliah.
Jehoiada the priest lived to be 130 years old. He served as the primary mentor and counselor to young King Joash. For most of the king’s 40-year reign he was a good man who honored God. But when Jehoiada died, everything changed. An influential group of evil leaders convinced Joash to ditch worshiping God. The Temple of the Lord was abandoned and the people bowed down to man-made idols. The Lord sent prophets in an attempt to turn the people back to Him. But they would not listen.
The Spirit of God came upon a prophet by the name of Zechariah. Courageously he stood before his countrymen and confronted them for disobeying God’s commands. This infuriated Judah’s vile leaders! So they persuaded the king to have Zechariah killed. In the courtyard of the Lord’s Temple they stoned him to death.
God swiftly executed judgment against Joash. Within a year, He helped an army from Aram, much smaller than Judah’s potent forces, attack and conquer them, severely wounding King Joash in the process. Then, a few of his own officials disgusted by what he did to Zechariah, assassinated him as he lay in bed. A king who should have lived far beyond the age of 47, who could have enjoyed God’s continuous blessings, who would have left a legacy, died a fallen failure.
What made this man who owed his very life to a kind priest, diabolically eliminate his righteous son? Yes, Zechariah was Jehoiada’s boy. What made this sovereign whose heart thumped the beat of faith, turn to embrace wooden poles honoring Asherah the Canaanite goddess? A strong priest led an impressionable king to do what was right. Corrupt leaders persuaded that same monarch to commit unthinkable treachery.
Persuasion is a two-way street.
One way leads to glory for God defines its path;
The other leads to shame and disregards His wrath.
So who persuades you? And whom do you persuade?
Will you stand up for God or will you turn away?
©2002 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)