Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lessons from the battlefield, part 3:The Easy Prey King

2 Chronicles 24:1 – 27 (Focus Scripture 24:15 -   24)


Joash became king when he was seven years old, and he did right all the days of Jehoida, the priest. As soon as Jehoida died, the officials of Judah saw their chance, and they took it. They came and bowed down to the young king, and he listened to their lies. He abandoned Jehovah and began to serve the Asherim and idols. As a result, the wrath of God came upon Judah and Jerusalem.

When Zechariah, Jehoida's son, confronted the king and his ungodly officials, he was stoned to death in the temple court. The wrath of God burned hotter and, just a few months later, God used the small band of Arameans to defeat Joash's army and avenge Zechariah. 

Joash was a good king and did right only as long as he had the influence of Jehoida. It was the strength of Jehoida's faith that directed the young king, but what he sadly lacked was faith of his own. When Jehoida was gone, Joash lacked the faith to seek God's wisdom and direction. As a result, he was like a rudderless ship, easily cast about by every wave that came. He was an easy prey for ungodly advisors, and, in the end, his faithlessness brought destruction to those for whom he was responsible. 

There are important lessons to be learned from Joash. First, it is critical that we and our children possess our own faith. We cannot be content to rely on the faith of our parents or grandparents. We must have faith of our own to sustain us when hard times come. 

Joash was indiscriminate in the counselors he allowed to direct him. As a result, he made ungodly decisions that only brought destruction. It is vital that we be confident of our trusted advisors and certain that their counsel is godly. No matter how convincing, all counsel must be weighed against Scripture. If it contradicts God's Word, we must beware. Whether that counsel come from the words of a trusted friend or the latest best seller, it is God's Word that must serve as our plumb line. 

When leaders sin, everyone suffers. Whether they sin because of their own wicked choices or by following bad counsel, they are still accountable, and when they sin, everyone for whom they are responsible ultimately suffers. We cannot be deceived about the consequences. God will avenge those who are harmed by the evil of those in authority, and He will bring judgement against the faithless.  

It is, therefore, our responsibility to be careful of the decisions we make and the leadership we give to the ones who look to us. For those who are in leadership over us and over our loved ones, our job is equally as important. We must pray. We must pray for truth-speakers who will speak with clarity and confidence in our troubled times, and that we will be able to hear and recognize that truth in the midst of the babel of a fallen world. 

The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes. (Proverbs 21:1 NASB)