Scripture reading – 2 Kings 13; 2 Chronicles 24

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Our chronological study of the Scriptures continues in 2 Chronicles 24, and you will notice a parallel of events we considered in our prior devotional from 2 Kings 12. Of course, 2 Kings was authored before the Babylonian captivity, while 2 Chronicles is believed to have been written by Ezra after the children of Israel returned from exile.

The Reign of Joash (2 Chronicles 24:1-27)

2 Chronicles 24 details the years that Joash reigned as king of Judah. We are reminded that the king “did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest” (2 Chronicles 24:2). There is also the record that Jehoiada had taken for Joash “two wives; and he begat sons and daughters” (2 Chronicles 24:3).

Joash Repaired the Temple (2 Chronicles 24:6-14)

Joash Repaired the Temple (2 Chronicles 24:6-14)

As we found in 2 Kings 12, Joash commanded the Temple be repaired (2 Chronicles 24:4-6). Unfortunately, the Levites were not as zealous about repairing the Tempe as the king, and we read, “the Levites hastened it not” (2 Chronicles 24:5).

The cause and necessity for repairing the Temple were stated: “For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and also all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord did they bestow upon Baalim” (2 Chronicles 24:7). The identity of “the sons of Athaliah” was not given; however, they followed the wicked queen’s disdain for the LORD, stripped the Temple, and furnished Baal’s temple with its treasures.

The means of collecting monies to rebuild the Temple and pay its workers was recorded (2 Chronicles 24:8-12). There was enough given by the people to not only “set the house of God” in order and finish it but also to make new vessels of gold and silver for offering sacrifices (2 Chronicles 24:14).

 

The Death of Jehoiada, the High Priest (2 Chronicles 24:15-16)

Incredibly, Jehoiada, the high priest, lived 130 years! What a wonderful, rich life and ministry this servant of the LORD lived. His testimony in Israel was such that he was given a burial worthy of kings (2 Chronicles 24:16). Yet, the death of the high priest became the catalyst for some in authority to depart from worshipping the LORD and return to their wicked, idolatrous ways (2 Chronicles 24:17).

Warning: The Faith of a People and Nation is Never More Than One Generation from Extinction.

 

A Petition for Liberty (2 Chronicles 24:17-18) 

Soon after Jehoiada’s death, the leaders of Judah courted Joash’s favor, and “the king hearkened unto them” (2 Chronicles 24:17). Jehoiada’s presence in Judah had been a powerful one, and his influence upon King Joash began when he was little more than an infant. The king faithfully served the LORD under the shadow and guidance of the high priest, but his death revealed the weak spiritual state of the king and leaders of Judah.

 Tragically, the leaders of Judah left “the house [Temple] of the Lord God of their fathers” and returned to their idols and wicked practices (2 Chronicles 24:17). They established groves for idol worship and prostitution (2 Chronicles 24:18). They provoked the LORD, and He poured out His wrath “upon Judah and Jerusalem for…their trespass” (2 Chronicles 24:18).

Warning: What followed is sadly instructive and too familiar in our day.

A Tolerance for Wickedness Bred an Intolerance of Faithful Prophets (2 Chronicles 24:19-22)

A Tolerance for Wickedness Bred an Intolerance of Faithful Prophets (2 Chronicles 24:19-22)

 

Though the leaders rejected the LORD, He nevertheless sent prophets to call the nation to repent, “but they would not give ear” (2 Chronicles 24:19). Then, “the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you” (2 Chronicles 24:20).

How did the leaders of Judah respond to the preaching of Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada? Did King Joash remember the spiritual lessons of his mentor Jehoiada? Did he humble himself and call upon the leaders to return to the LORD and the Temple? 

“They conspired against [Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada], and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 24:21). Even King Joash, who enjoyed the love and mentoring of Zechariah’s father, “remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his [Zechariah’s] father had done to him, but slew his son” (2 Chronicles 24:22).

As Zechariah was dying, he rebuked the king and said, “The Lord look upon it, and require it [avenge his murder] (2 Chronicles 24:22).

“They conspired against [Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada], and stoned him.

God’s Judgment Fell Upon the King and Leaders of Judah (2 Chronicles 24:23-27)

At the end of the same year that Zechariah was murdered, a Syrian army laid siege to Jerusalem, killed the leaders, and took the spoils of Jerusalem to “the king of Damascus” (2 Chronicles 24:23).

Judah’s lust for sin and the depravity of its leaders left the nation so weakened that a mere “small company of men” was all that was necessary for Syria to conquer “a very great host.” The people “had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers,” and He used their enemies to weaken and execute “judgment against Joash” (2 Chronicles 24:24).

 

Closing thoughts –

The glorious forty-year reign of Joash came to an inglorious end. The king suffered “great diseases” until “his own servants conspired against him for [shedding] the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed” (2 Chronicles 24:25). Unlike the honorable burial that was given to Jehoiada the priest (2 Chronicles 24:16), Joash was not buried “in the sepulchers of the kings” (2 Chronicles 24:25).

Why is a knowledge of history essential? When we grasp and understand the sinful ways of men and nations that have gone before us, we know the provocation of God’s wrath when a nation and its leaders reject the LORD, His Laws, and Commandments. Judah and her leaders despised the prophets and silenced them, and her enemies spoiled her riches.

The history of the world is littered with the ruins of empires that fell to their enemies because they despised the warnings of God’s prophets.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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