Joash: A King Led Astray

KEY VERSE: “Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? Because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you.” —II Chronicles 24:20

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: II Chronicles 24:1-7, 17-20

ONE of the important facets of today’s lesson is to observe the Lord’s overruling providence in preserving the line of David’s seed through Solomon, which produced Joseph, the husband of Mary. (Matt. 1:1-16) (The line of David’s seed, through Nathan, that produced Mary, the mother of Jesus, is recorded in Luke 3:23-38) The Lord apparently saw the need to preserve the two genealogies to show that the prophecy concerning Solomon, contained in I Kings 9:1-8 and 11:1-12, was carried out.

Jehosaphat sought, through the marriage of his son to the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, an alliance with Ahab, who was an evil and adulterous king. The son, Jehoram, who assumed the throne at the death of Jehosaphat, reigned for eight years, but his first act was to strengthen his position by slaying all of his brethren and the princes of Israel. He was very evil in the sight of the Lord who would have put him to death but God would “not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons forever.”—II Chron. 21:7

After the death of Jehoram, his youngest son, Ahaziah, was made king because his older brothers had been slain. Ahaziah reigned only one year and he was slain in battle. During his short reign, however, he was led to do wickedly in the sight of the Lord by his mother, Athaliah, who, after his death, usurped the throne of power over Israel. One of the first acts of Athaliah was to slay all of the royal sons of the house of Judah. (II Chron. 22:10) “But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash, the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not.”—II Chron. 22:11

Joash, the single thread of the seed of David (Solomon’s line), was kept hidden in the palace until he was seven years old. At that time Jehoiada, the priest, decided that it was time to overthrow the wicked Athaliah, and he gathered support from the army and the priests and the people, and they slew Athaliah. Then all the people went to the house of Baal, and broke it down, and broke his altars and his images in pieces, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. 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 was ordained by David.”—II Chron. 23:16-18

Under the rule of Joash, with Jehoiada as his adviser, the kingdom was in harmony with the Lord. “And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.” (II Chron. 24:2) For at least twenty-three years while the priest lived, the kingdom was very prosperous. The Temple was rebuilt for which large contributions were made. The country was free from invasion and domestic disturbances, but after the death of Jehoiada, Joash fell into the hands of bad advisers, at whose suggestion he revived the worship of Baal and Ashtaroth. The Lord sent prophets to bring them again to the Lord; they testified against the idols, but the people would not hear.—vs. 19

The Lord finally sent Zechariah to them saying, “Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? Because ye have forsaken the Lord he has forsaken you.” (vs. 20) When the children of Israel heard this they stoned the prophet, who was the son of Jehoiada, thus the king failed to remember the kindness shown him by the prophet. It came to pass at the end of the year that the host of Syria came upon the Israelites and destroyed all the princes of the people and sent the spoil of them to the king of Damascus. “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.”—vs. 24

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |