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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Joash: A Cautionary Tale

The king Ahaziah was dead. His mother, seeing that her son was dead, murdered the entire royal family, aiming to destroy all possible heirs, and took over the throne. Except she had no idea that Ahaziah's half-sister, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, had hidden away Ahaziah's son, little Joash, and his nurse in the house of the Lord.
"And he remained with them six years, hidden in the house of God, while Athaliah reigned over the land." (2 Chronicles 22:12)
"But in the seventh year Jehoiada took courage and entered into a covenant with the commanders of hundreds..." (2 Chron. 23:1a)
Jehoiada secretly secured the support of the Levites and all of Judah and prepared to crown Joash.
"Then they brought out the king's son and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony. And they proclaimed him king, and Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and they said, 'Long live the king.'" (2 Chron. 23:11)
Athaliah heard the noise, ran to the house of the Lord, and saw the scene. "Treason!" she called, but they dragged her away from the house of the Lord and at the gate of the palace put her to death.
"And Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king that they should be the LORD's people. Then all the people went to the house of Baal and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces, and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars...And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest...After this Joash decided to restore the house of the LORD" (2 Chron. 23:16-17; 24:2, 4)
Joash and Jehoiada refurbished the temple and offered regular burnt offerings. The people rejoiced.
"But Jehoiada grew old and full of days, and died...Now after the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them. And they abandoned the house of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs. Yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the LORD. These testified against them, but they would not pay attention.

Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest... But they conspired against him, and by the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD." (2 Chron. 24:15a, 17-20a, 21)
I read 2 Chron. 23-24 this morning and was sobered. Joash was only faithful as long as his mentor and father-figure, the priest Jehoiada, was alive. Once he lost Jehoiada, he lost his way.

It is great to listen to sermons, podcasts, mentors, and friends. God can use those things to teach us. But what will happen to me when they are all stripped away? Will I be like Joash and forget what I've been taught? Or will I cling to God? Am I a goat or a sheep?
"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12)

"For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh...Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son." (2 John 7a, 9)

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked...but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night." (Psalm 1:1a, 2)
Written July 21


Laura said...

This also reminds me of our children. When they are away from the strength of a believing family, are they able to stand on their own? Or will they be blown by the winds of the persuasive and attractive?

We have faced this situation just this week with extended family. And oh, I'm ready to get my chicks back into the fold and start back to school.

Mrs. Edwards said...

So true, Laura! Pray, pray, pray!

Yes, I'm ready for school, too. We're off to family camp next week, then a week of unpacking, then we plunge into Week 1 of Year 1...back to the beginning!

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