Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 24:17-27. Let’s go!
2 Chronicles 24:17-22 (NIV) 17 After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and he listened to them. 18 They abandoned the temple of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols. Because of their guilt, God’s anger came upon Judah and Jerusalem. 19 Although the LORD sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen. 20 Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the LORD’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.'” 21 But they plotted against him, and by order of the king they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the LORD’s temple. 22 King Joash did not remember the kindness Zechariah’s father Jehoiada had shown him but killed his son, who said as he lay dying, “May the LORDsee this and call you to account.”
On verses 17-22: Jehoiada the priest was like a father to Joash. While Jehoiada was alive, Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (see verse 2). But after Jehoiada dies, Joash stops getting advice from, and stops aligning himself with, people who trusted the Lord. Instead Joash starts listening to his officials (v17) who influence him to abandon the temple of the Lord and to worship Asherah instead (v18). As a result, Joash would end up doing some heinous things that a younger Joash probably would never have imagined himself doing. For example, the Lord sends prophet after prophet, including Jehoiada’s own son Zechariah, to warn the people and to urge them to return to the Lord (v20). But Joash and his people refuse to listen (v19). In fact, shockingly Joash orders that they stone Jehoiada’s son Zechariah. In so doing, as verse 22 says, “King Joash did not remember the kindness Zechariah’s father Jehoiada had shown him but killed his son, who said as he lay dying, “May the LORD see this and call you to account.”
Joash’s failure to get godly advice after Jehoiada died would lead to Joash’s downfall. Joash and Judah are invaded and defeated by a relatively small Aramean army. Joash is wounded in the process, and his officials (quite possibly the ones who influenced him to abandon the Lord in the first place) conspire against him and kill him. When Joash is buried, dishonorably his body is not placed with the kings of Judah.
What can we learn from this? No matter how long you have grown up in the church, or how long you have been walking with the Lord, never underestimate the influence that those closest to you have on you. Don’t just wait for godly people to come to you.Be proactive and seek out the help and advice of people who trust the Lord. If you insist on listening to those who do not trust the Lord, it will lead you to your downfall, and any short term gain you experience will be offset by the long term pain.
Heavenly Father, may I always be sensitive and aware of whom I am allowing to influence me. May I be proactive in seeking out and being influenced by people who trust You and follow You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!