Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Daily reading assignment – 2 Kings 11-15
My first memory of a public debate over the importance of a man’s character in public office dates to 1992 when President Bill Clinton was first running for President of the United States. Twenty-five years later, I am still stunned the obvious would be a matter of debate.
The moral values rooted in the heart of a man define his character and drive his disciplines in thought and deed. Character is the compass that charts a man’s course in conduct and life and a leader’s character profoundly affects his sphere of influence. A man’s character will either bless or curse his home, marriage, ministry, business and public office.
The opening verses of 2 Kings 11 are illustrative of the matter of character and indicative of the depths of depravity a soul will descend when driven by a covetous heart set upon power, position and possessions. Athaliah, a murderous wench and the mother of Ahaziah king of Judah, seeing her son was dead, (2 Kings 8:25-26; 9:27), directed the murder of her grandchildren so she might succeed her son to the throne of Judah (2 Kings 11:1).
In spite of his grandmother’s murderous rampage, Joash, the infant son of king Ahaziah was spared when his aunt hid he and his nurse in her house for six years (2 Kings 11:2-3). In the seventh year of queen Athaliah’s reign, Jehoiada, a commander of Judah’s army revealed a son of the late king Ahaziah had survived the slaughter of the king’s sons (11:4-11). Swearing allegiance to Joash, the military leaders crowned him king of Judah (11:12) and executed queen Athaliah (11:13-16; 2 Chronicles 23:12-15).
Following the death of Athaliah, the nation of Judah enjoyed a season of spiritual revival (2 Kings 11:17-21). Jehoiada, the high priest, renewed the nation’s covenant with the LORD “that they should be the LORD’S people” (11:17) and directed the destruction of the altars of Baal (11:18). Although only seven years old (11:21); Jehoash (i.e. Joash), was profoundly influenced by the high priest and “all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet” (11:20).
The revival in Judah was far reaching and “Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him” (2 Kings 12:2). The king directed renovation of the Temple that had fallen into disrepair; however, when Jehoiada died, the king neglected the Temple and apostasy once again took root in Judah (2 Chronicles 24:15-22).
Sadly, the life of Jehoash ends tragically in 2 Kings 12:17-21. Without his godly mentor, Jehoash evidenced shallowness in both his faith and character. When the king of Syria threatened Judah, rather than look to the LORD, Jehoash bribed the heathen king of Syria by giving him the tithes and offerings in the Temple treasuries. Soon after, two servants assassinated Jehoash.
Does a man (or woman’s) character matter? I will allow the Word of God to answer that question.
Proverbs 29:2 – When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith