The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), June 19
You are the result of the investment of others. Grandparents, parents, mentors and teachers, and so on. Joash forgets this truth. His story demonstrates what happens when grace is forgotten and ingratitude reigns.
Joash listens to wrong counsel. Evil men wait in the shadows to replace Jehoiada. After Jehoiada’s death they fill the void with their own counsel as they flatter the king, “Now after the death of Jehoiada the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them” (2 Chron. 24:17). Their counsel opposes everything Jehoiada stood for. Even today evil counselors lurk and plot in the shadows of leadership until they can assume that role.
- Joash rejects rebuke. “Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the LORD; and they testified against them, but they would not listen” (2 Chron. 24:19). Zachariah, the son of Jehoiada, was one of those prophets. He announced, “Because you have forsaken the LORD, he also has forsaken you” (24:20).
- Joash dishonors God, God’s servant, and God’s Temple. Jehoiada faithfully serves Joash for thirty-three years. His son, Zechariah, honors the LORD by speaking God’s truth to Joash. For this, Joash commands him to be stoned in the temple courtyard, “So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD” (2 Chron. 24:21).
- Joash misappropriates temple treasures. Joash uses the treasury of the temple to pay Hazael and his opposing army to retreat, “And Joash king of Judah took all the sacred things that his fathers . . . had dedicated . . . and sent them to Hazael, king of Syria. Then he went away from Jerusalem” (2 Kings 12:18).
- Joash’s scrap with Hazael and the Aramean army leaves him severely wounded. He fails miserably after Jehoiada’s death, and his son Amaziah takes his place.
- Joash forgets the grace that brought him to the throne. He forgets those who were instrumental in his early success. Forgetfulness leads to ingratitude; ingratitude leads to insensitivity to the LORD and others. Ingratitude attacks those most interested in your spiritual welfare, until you find yourself doing something you never thought you would do. Understanding and celebrating grace and expressing gratitude protect the heart from hardness toward God and others.
Had Joash listened to Moses’ warning in Deuteronomy, he would have guarded against the ingratitude that comes from forgetting God’s grace, “And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not” (Deut. 8:2). That same warning applies to believers today.
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (2 Kings 12:17-21; 13:1-25; 2 Chronicles 24:23-27):
Why does the LORD allow the Syrians to invade Judah? What does this reveal about God?
Why does the LORD show kindness to Jehoahaz, king of Israel, in spite of his rebellion and idolatry?