Jehoiada turned the heart of the nation back to God and placed the only descendent of David back on the throne. Joash became king at seven years of age, and Jehoiada the priest stood by his side, a godly advisor and teacher. Things looked promising when Joash surpassed even Jehoiada in his eagerness to restore the temple of the Lord. Everything looked good.
“And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord”–if only there was a period here, it would have been a happy epitaph–”all the days of Jehoiada the priest” (2Chronicles 24:2). Jehoiada lived long and well, and his long life (he was 130 years old at his death) demonstrated you don’t have to be king to influence a nation. By all appearances, Joash was following God’s ways; but that was the problem, it was all appearances. The long life of Jehoiada was God’s mercy to Joash and the nation, for when Jehoiada died, so did God’s good counsel, and the king listened to new voices.
Joash’s godliness was borrowed godliness, he had neglected to develop his own, so he was only as good as those who surrounded him. “Now after the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them. And they abandoned the house of the Lord” (2Chronicles 24:17-18).
Heavenly Father, create in me a clean heart and make it strong. Test me, discipline me, and develop in me a passion for You, that I may stay focused and stand firm. You are my rock, my fortress, my salvation, and the final source of all that is good. May I always keep that in mind.
Surround me with the good and the godly, and I will set my heart and mind on Your thoughts and Your ways. You will be my strength, and I will delight in You so deeply that the fancies of this world will lose their power to tempt. I know, God, that I am weak; therefore, my strength comes from You. May my love grow deep and strong, that I might stand for You and with You no matter what comes.