2 Chronicles 23
This chapter begins after a royal mass murder in the kings household (2 Chronicles 22:10-12) and the rescue and hiding of the future king of Judah.
For six years this "royal baby," was hidden and cared for in the Temple of God. Then the priest Jehoiada made a plan among his commanders. He sent them to gather the Levites and heads of Israelite families, and in Jerusalem, (v.3) "the whole assembly made a covenant with the king at the temple of God."
Talk about rough politics.
They are being ruled by the woman who murdered the royal household (refer to previous chapter). I wonder if the horror of their reality is what caused them to humble and return to God (with their covenant)?
The priest Jehoiada further makes a plan to reveal the child king Joash, the rescued royal son, and to lure the murderer ruler woman Athaliah into the temple courtyard. Armed guards are strategically assigned their post and security is tight. Ultimately Athaliah is assassinated with public approval and (chapter 24) Joash is properly installed as king.
2 Chronicles chapter 24
Joash served as king for 40 years beginning at age seven!
2 Chronicles 24:2
"He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, all the years of Jehoiada the priest."
Church and State United
King Joash even married two wives that Jehoiada picked out for him, and under Jehoidada as administrator of the functions, a chest was set up for offerings (referred to as taxes) that people generously and freely contributed. These riches were used to refurbish the temple and the wares used in worship and temple functions.
2 Chronicles 24:14b-16
"...As long as Jehoiada lived, burnt offerings were presented continually in the temple of the Lord.
Now Jehoiada was old and full of years, and he died at the age of 130. He was buried with the kings in the City of David, because of the good he had done in Israel for God and his temple."
Death and Change
But with this loss, Joash declined. (v.17) He seemed to be persuaded or influenced by corrupt influences that "came and paid homage," to Jehoiada.
2 Chronicles 24:18
"They abandoned the temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols."
God's anger burned and he sent the prophet Zechariah to warn very explicitly.
2 Chronicles 24:20b
"Why do you disobey the Lord's commands You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you."
Being Right at High Cost
This got Zechariah, son of Jehoiada the priest, KILLED, stoned to death, and by the end of chapter 24 Israel has fallen. The Aramean army attacked and plundered and returned the spoil to their king in Damascus, and then the kings own officials conspired to kill the king Joash in his bed, (for killing Zechariah). King Joash was not buried with the kings. He was not honored.
Do you see the principle of obedience is rewarded? Honoring God is rewarded?
Dishonoring God leads to undesirable consequences?
What strikes you most about these chapters?
Are you shocked at the violence?
Do you think Joash was influenced by being raised in the temple?
How was pride an issue for King Joash?
What important lesson did Joash NOT learn in life, which led to his fatal flaw??
As a life principle do you believe that God rewards obedience? Do you see that in this life on earth?
Are good people immune from troubles at all? Explain your thoughts.
How do martyrs fit into this ideology?
Dear God as I read these historical accounts, I am surprised, shocked and humbled. I am shocked at the violence and mistakes, but at the same time I am humbled. I am what I am only because of YOU, Your blessing, and the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Thank you. Thank you for Jesus. Please continue to build me and grow me in wisdom, courage, and strength. I want to serve You all the days of my life. You direct my steps. In Jesus's name I pray, amen.
Thank you for visiting. We would delight to hear from you in the comments. This post is part of a series that I do with three other sisters in rotation for our Blogging Through the Bible series where we are determined to read the Bible cover to cover. This blogging endeavor provides accountability for each of us, and inspires us, as we know that we are not doing it alone.
Incase you missed the previous posts of the series:
Stacey writes at Words from the Wheel,
Angela blogs at No Longer Lukewarm,
Tatiana blogs at The Musings of Mum,
and sometimes we blog from our collaborative blog, Telling Hearts. All those are great places to visit!
This is the group where this ministry originated from. Christian ladies are welcomed: