“And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.”
(2 Chronicles 24:2)
2 Chronicles 24 provides a profound insight into human nature. Here we see the same people behaving honorably, in an upright fashion, only to later lapse into abysmal wickedness and depravity. The key figure is Jehoiada, the chief priest. As today’s verse passage reminds us, King Joash did what was right in the sight of God so long as Jehoiada was alive. Together they took the necessary action to get the Temple restored and to get Israel’s God ordained religious system functioning properly again. With their encouragement, the people contributed generously to the project (2 Chronicles 24:8-11); true religion returned to Judah. The Chronicler tells us that when repairs to the Temple were complete, “they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, whereof were made vessels for the house of the LORD, even vessels to minister, and to offer withal, and spoons, and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the LORD continually all the days of Jehoiada” (2 Chronicles 24:14). The end of this verse is a bit ominous; it implies that things changed, for the worse, after the death of Jehoiada. As we keep reading, sadly, we find our suspicions confirmed. As soon as the man of God was gone, the people petitioned the king to endorse their return to pagan idolatry, which he did (2 Chronicles 24:17-18). God sent prophets to these people to correct them but to no avail. Finally He sent Zechariah the son of Jehoida to speak to them (2 Chronicles 24:20). One would think that given his connection to the great priest and friend of the king, the people would surely listen to him. Not so. The chronicler tells us that the people “conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 24:21). Though the story is tragic, it does draw our attention to encouraging things also. For instance, we see here in Jehoiada a certain restraining force against evil. As long as he was alive, evil and false religion did not get the upper hand in Israel. At his death, sadly, these things resurfaced. Today you and I serve a faithful and merciful High Priest (Hebrews 2:17) Who acts as a restraining force against evil within us. Unlike Jehoiada, our Restrainer lives and abides forever; His blessed ministry to us and in us stretches into eternity, well beyond the eventual destruction of our sinful flesh and our resurrection to glory (Romans 7:24-25; 8:9-11). In the meantime, let us strive to function in these last days as Jehoiada did, encouraging obedience among fellow members of the household of faith, even as we restrain evil as best we can in our own sphere of influence under God.
God bless you,