Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zibiah from Beersheba. 2 Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest, (24:1-2).
(As I began reading this chapter, I vividly remembered my impressions when reading about young King Joash, also called Jehoash, in 2 Kings 12.)
Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord… This commentary on Joash, the one spared from annihilation, the one through whom the line of David would continue, conveyed a sense of optimistic anticipation. I always love reading about those who do “right in the sight of the LORD.”
This phrase, “doing right in the sight of the LORD” is an assessment, not of works accomplished, but is attributed to those who are committed to Him in belief and faith.
- Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness, (Genesis 15:6).
- For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” (Romans 4:3).
- Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness... 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith,” (Galatians 3:6, 11).
- But My righteous one shall live by faith;
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him, (Hebrews 10:38).
And as we read of Joash, we learn he “did right in the sight of the Lord all his days…” And I immediately sensed an elation …like, “yay Joash, doing right!”
But… the report does not end there. Joash only “did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.” As long as the priest, Jehoiada, was alive to instruct him, Joash believed God.
And I couldn’t help but think how sad it was that Joash relied so heavily on Jehoiada the priest; how he never seemed to grow enough in his own faith to depend on the LORD himself and continue to do right.
And I also wondered, was Joash impulsive?
Now it came about after this that Joash decided to restore the house of the Lord. 5 He gathered the priests and Levites and said to them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel to repair the house of your God annually, and you shall do the matter quickly.” But the Levites did not act quickly, (24:4-5 emphasis added).
Perhaps his demand to restore the house of the Lord quickly, had more to do with a character flaw of impulsivity and impatience than a desire to see God’s house set in order. Just a thought. But he sure turned away from his devotion to the Lord quickly after the death of his beloved instructor; so much so that he almost seems like a different king altogether.
But after the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them. 18 They abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols; so wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their guilt. 19 Yet He sent prophets to them to bring them back to the Lord; though they testified against them, they would not listen, (24:17-24).
Yet in spite of the rebellion of the king and his officials, in spite of Joash impulsively caving to follow after false gods… Yet He sent prophets to them to bring them back to the Lord…
Oh, His longsuffering to continually send His Word to turn the stiff-necked rebellious back to Himself; it’s incomprehensible.
And as I contemplated the demise of one who was spared as a baby and guided and instructed all the days his faithful priest lived; of one so dependent on another to enable him to continue in faith, I couldn’t help but think of Jesus, Our Beloved Priest and Teacher; Jesus Who lives forever, and is so faithful to Teach.
Consider Him, Our Beloved Priest and Teacher
- Our Beloved Priest and Teacher, Who Is Merciful and Faithful
- Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people, (Hebrews 2:17).
- Our Beloved Priest and Teacher, Who Has Made Atonement for our sins
- For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people, (Hebrews 2:17 NIV).
- Our Beloved Priest and Teacher, Who Lives Forever
- where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek, (Hebrews 6:20).
- Our Beloved Priest and Teacher, Who Sympathizes with our weaknesses
- For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin, (Hebrews 4:15).
- Our Beloved Priest and Teacher, Who Continually Intercedes for us
- Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them, (Hebrews 7:25).
- Our Beloved Priest and Teacher, Who Is Perfect in Holiness
- For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself, (Hebrews 7:26-27).
- Our Beloved Priest and Teacher, Who Has Obtained our eternal redemption
- and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption, (Hebrews 9:12).
- Our Beloved Priest and Teacher, Who Teaches With Authority
- When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes, (Matthew 7:29).
- Our Beloved Priest and Teacher, Who Teaches With Compassion
- When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things, (Mark 6:34).
- Our Beloved Priest and Teacher, Who Commands us to Teach others
- Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:19-20).
How do we respond to Him, Our Beloved Priest and Teacher?
I couldn’t help but wonder how was it that Joash never took the instruction from Jehoiada to make it his own. How had he come to be so completely reliant on another in order to do right?
While Joash was mistaken in his leaning so heavily on another to be able to do right, for no human can ever be that for someone else; we on the other hand must do exactly that. Leaning heavily on Our Beloved Priest and Teacher is our only hope; for the truth is, we will never be able to continue to do right in the sight of the Lord apart from Him.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing, (John 15:4-5).
But perhaps like Joash, all too often our propensity towards impulsivity and impatience threatens to impede our hearing from Him and opens our ears to receive counsel offering a quick solution.
Let us diligently listen to His Word for counsel, with good and honest hearts, hearts committed to clinging to Him in patience and perseverance to make His Truth our own. And as we do, we can trust the abiding Word of Him, Our Beloved Priest and Teacher, to bear much fruit.
“Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away... 15 But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance,” (Luke 8:13, 15).
As we consider Him, Our Beloved Priest and Teacher, Who He Is and all He has done, may we be changed by His Truth to Abide in Him Who Is Merciful and Faithful, Perfect in Holiness, ever extending His Compassion and Sympathy in our weakness.
Let us Abide in Him Who has completely Atoned for all our sins, Redeemed us for all eternity, and now Lives to Intercede for us always.
Oh, that we would commit to abide by faith in His Authority revealed in His Word, enabled by His Holy Spirit to bear much fruit as we obey His command to Teach others, that they too would be drawn to know Him, Our Beloved Priest and Teacher.
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:18-20).