II Chronicles 24:1, 2, 25
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Joash was the youngest king of Israel or Judah, crowned when he was only seven years old! There hadn’t been a good king in Judah for sixteen years, ever since Joash’s great grandfather Jehoshaphat passed away (see II Chronicles 20:31-34; 21:1).
- In those sixteen years Jehoshaphat’s wicked son Jehoram reigned eight years (see II Chronicles 21:1-6).
- Then came Ahaziah, Jehoram’s wicked son, who only reigned one year before he was murdered by Jehu, who then became king over the northern kingdom of Israel (see II Chronicles 22:1-9).
- Athaliah ruled next over Judah for almost seven years. (See II Chronicles 22:12). But Athaliah was an anomoly! For she was the only queen to rule in ancient Israel!
✡ And she ruled illegitimately, seizing the throne when her son Ahaziah was murdered! (see II Chronicles 22:9, 10). ✡ Once queen, it says in II Chronicles 22:10, “... she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs [all of Ahaziah’s sons] of the house of Judah.”...all but one! ✡ We are told in II Chronicles 22:11 and 12: But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of [King Jehoram and sister of King Ahaziah, and] ...the wife of Jehoiada the [high] priest ...took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being murdered, and put him and his nurse in a bedroom....So Jehoshabeath... hid him from Athaliah so that she did not kill him. And he was hidden...in the house of God for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.
The time came when the High Priest Jehoiada decided to establish the true king on the throne (the descendant of King David), and depose the illegitimate queen! Read the whole story in II Chronicles chapter 23. But here is part of our featured Scripture, from II Chronicles 24:1, 2:
Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem....Joash did what was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoia- da the priest....
We will get back to II Chronicles 24:25 after we look at the good things King Joash did, listed throughout chapter 24:
- Verse 4 – “Now it happened after this that Joash set his heart on repairing the house of the LORD.”
✡ It was now the 23rd year of Joash’s reign – 39 years, since the last godly king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, had cared for the temple of the LORD. Since then, the temple had fallen into disrepair and had been desecrated by the wick- ed queen, Athaliah. We are told in II Chron- icles 24:7: ...the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God, and had also presented all the dedicated things of the house of the LORD to the Baals [false Canaanite gods]. ✡ After a delay of some years, money was collected, workmen were hired, and, “...the workmen labored, and the work was completed by them; they restored the house of God to its original condition and reinforced it. (II Chronicles 24:13).
- Verse 14 – “When they were finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada; they made from it articles for the house of the LORD, articles for serving and offering, spoons and vessels of gold and silver.”
- Verse 14 – “And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the LORD continually all the days of Jehoiada.”
But we read in II Chronicles 24:15 and 16:
...Jehoiada grew old and was full of days; he was one hundred and thirty years old when he died. And they buried him in the City of David [Jerusalem] among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God and His house.
With the passing of the high priest Jehoiada, a terrible turn of events happened in the kingdom of Judah! Here is the last part of II Chronicles 24:
- Verse 17 – “Now after the death of Jehoiada the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them.”
- Verse 18 – “Therefore they left the house of the LORD…and served…idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass.”
- Verse 19 – “Yet [God]…sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the LORD…but they would not listen.”
- Verse 20 – “Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada…and [he] said to them, ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He also has forsaken you.’ ”
- Verse 21 – “So they conspired against [Zechariah]…and at the commandment of the king [Joash] they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD.”
- Verse 22 – “Thus Joash…did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada…had done to him, but killed his son; and as he died, he said, ‘The LORD look on it and repay!’ ”
The next spring, a small army of Syrians invaded Judah and defeated a large Judean defending army!
- Verse 23 – “…they…destroyed all the leaders of the people…and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus.”
- Verse 24 – “So they executed judgment against Joash.”
But that wasn’t enough of a judgment from God against the king! For it is written in II Chronicles 24…
- Verse 25 – “And when [the Syrians]…had withdrawn from him (for they left him severely wounded), his own servants conspired against him because of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and killed him on his bed. So he died….”
✡ It says “...the sons of Jehoiada the priest....” So King Joash must have murdered more than just Zechariah!
- Verse 25 – A final humiliation! “And they buried him in the City of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings.”
✡ “...Jehoiada the priest...” was so honored that he was buried with the kings....Very unusual! ✡ ...but not King Joash!
Here is what God says about this whole situation in Ezekiel 33:13:
When I say to the righteous that he shall surley live, but he trustes in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remem- bered, but because of the iniquity that he has commit- ted, he shall die.
So where is ‘good King Josah’? Is he in heaven? No! He is in hades, suffering in the flames, as the rich man was suffering in Jesus’ parable in Luke 16:19 through 31. Joash is waiting to be cast “…in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:9).
And the main point of this study?
Don’t rely on past goodness to get you into heaven!
Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior,
and live day by day reflecting His goodness!