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22. Joash, King of Judah

October 13, 2010

 

Text:    II Chronicles 22:10-24:27 

Harmony Text:            II Kings 11:1-12:21 

Outline:           I.     Joash is Protected                                        II Chronicles 22:10-23:10

                              II.    Joash is Made King                                      II Chronicles 23:11-24:3

                              III.  Joash Restores Godly Worship               II Chronicles 24:4-16

                              IV.  Joash Restores Idolatry                            II Chronicles 24:17-27 

Context/Discussion/Comments: 

                Ahaziah’s mother learns of her son’s death and proceeds to destroy all the royal family.  She was the wife of Jehoram [Judah] and the daughter of Ahab [Israel].  I believe this was her attempt to break the kingly line of Judah and eventually align Judah with Israel.  Her loyalty was to Israel, not Judah; to idolatry, not the Lord God.  But one of the daughters of King Jehoram was the wife of a priest and she hid Joash, her youngest nephew, in the temple for 6 years so Athalia could not kill him.  Jehoiada, the priest, became an influential person in the 7th year of Athalia’s reign and gathered together the army officers, key officials, Levites, and family elders.  They all met at the Temple and pledged their support to young Joash.  Jehoiada puts a protection plan in place to guard their young king.  They guarded him at the Temple and watched for covert activity at the palace and the Fountain Gate where the country’s judgments were decided.  They guarded and watched in 8 hours shifts 24 hours 7 days a week and were to kill anyone who was unauthorized to enter the Temple.      

                 Jehoiada and his followers bring out Joash into the Temple court , crown him king, and place a copy of God’s covenant with Israel in his hands.  Athalia hears the joyful noise cheering Judah’s king and shouts “treason”.  Jehoiada commands Judah’s officers to bring her and anyone who follows her outside the temple area and kill them.  He then leads the people in renewing their covenant with God, promising to be His people and to worship and obey His Word.  Then they tear down the temple of Baal, smash the altars, and kill all the priests of Baal.  Next Jehoiada reestablishes God’s protocol concerning worship and serving at the Temple.  Joash is brought to the palace, seated on Judah’s throne, and the people rejoice.  The line of David is alive and well.

                 Joash became king when he was 7 years old and reigned for 40 years.  He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord as long as Jehoiada, the priest, was living.  He took two wives and had both sons and daughters.

                 Later he decided to restore the Temple which had been pillaged during the reigns of Jehoram, Ahaziah, and Athalia.  He asked the Levites and priests to go to all the towns and collect the temple tax.  The Levites were slow to act so Joash built a chest to place at the Temple entrance and issued a decree.  The people willingly gave and soon there was enough money to restore the Temple and some left over to build and replace the articles for service and burnt offering which had been previously destroyed.

                 Jehoiada lived 130 years and was honored by being buried with the kings because he had saved the life of Joash and temple worship was restored. 

                After Jehoiada the priest died, the officials convinced Joash to abandon Temple worship in favor of worshipping idols and Asherah poles.  God became angry and sent prophets to warn the people but they refused to listen.  Zechariah, a priest and son of Jehoiada, prophesied against the worship of idols and told them they would not prosper because they had forsaken God and He had forsaken them.  The officers plotted against him and got Joash to issue a decree to have him stoned.  Joash had forgotten the kindness shown him by Zechariah’s father.   

                Aram marched on Judah and Jerusalem, killing all their leaders and plundering the city.  It took only a few men to conquer Jerusalem because the Lord was with them.  Joash was severely wounded in the fighting and his officials murdered him for murdering Zechariah.  He was not buried with the kings.  Amaziah, his son succeeded him on the throne of Judah.

                 Joash reigned from 836-797 BC.  Joash reigned for 40 years but the real king was Jehoiada, the priest.  He was the one honored and buried with the kings. During the time of Joash’s reign, Jehu was on the throne of Israel for 22 years and Jehoahaz was on the throne of Israel for 16 years.  Jehoahaz’s full reign will be discussed in Lesson 23. 

Lessons/Applications: 

  1. God is faithful and keeps His promises.  Believe what He says.  His Word is TRUTH.
  2. God is also sovereign.  We who believe in Him are called to obedience and special assignments on the Lord’s behalf.  We are the messengers of Salvation to those He is calling.  Hear His summons and obey.
  3. God willingly removes all barriers to accomplish His Will.  God brings judgment on those who oppose Him and brings honor to those who honor Him.  Let us make sure we honor Him in all that we say and do.
  4. God protects those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.
  5. Never underestimate the influence you have on young lives as a parent, a relative, or even as an adult friend.  Teach and train young people to love the Lord God.
  6. Everyone is blessed by leaders who have a mature Godly mentor in their midst who possesses the Wisdom of God.  Identify one for yourself who is Godly, mature, truthful, strategic, visionary, and who is willing to take risks.  Lean on that person for advice.
  7. Make worshipping the Lord God a priority in your life and encourage others to do likewise.
  8. Take pride in your own house of worship and give generously to maintain it and to be attractive to others.  Personal participation in such a project increases one’s personal commitment to the Lord.
  9. Be careful when replacing your advisors.  Be wary of advisors who promote their own personal agenda that is contrary to your own beliefs.
  10. Be steadfast in your Faith in the Lord and do not falter or give in to outside influences.  Know what you believe and in whom you believe. Weigh all your decisions against the Word of God.
  11. Punishment/judgment/discipline comes to those who fail to consult the Lord.  If this happens; repent, seek the Lord, and ask for His mercy.
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