King Joash started out great… and ended poorly.
The very fact that he was alive to reign was the result of the gracious hand of God on him… and the heroic acts of others around him.
When Joash was just a baby, his father was murdered… and his grandmother saw this as an opportunity to rule Judah. She then murdered the entire royal family! Her own grandchildren!! Except for one: Joash. Jehosheba, a member of the royal family and the wife of a priest named Jehoiada, took him and hid him away in the temple precincts for 6years. Then Jehoiada arranged for the people to crown Joash king at 7years of age (2Ki. 11).
Imagine becoming the leader of a whole nation at the age of 7!
For the first part of Joash’s reign, Jehoiada remained an advisor to him… and Joash did what was pleasing to the Lord. He even arranged for the temple to be repaired through a miraculous offering of the people.
Then Jehoiada died.
When Jehoiada died, Joash began to listen to the government officials… who led him to worship idols. Later, Jehoiada’s son would prophesy against this wickedness, but Joash ordered that he be stoned to death. Because of his treacherous act against Jehoiada’s son, Joash’s own officials killed him while he slept (2Chron. 24).
Joash seems to be the symbol of superficial spirituality.
His decisions weren’t based on deep-seated beliefs; instead, it seems to have been a borrowed faith. Like a chameleon, Joash changed to accommodate his surroundings. When Jehoida was with him, Joash behaved like a true believer. When his godly advisor was gone, Joash joined the crowd of unbelievers.
What about you? Do you act like a follower of God, all the time? No matter what? Or does your commitment change with the circumstances?
* One test of our faith is how we behave around unbelievers.
You can read the story of Joash in 2Kings 11:1—14:16; 2Chronicles 22:11—25:25.