How does the Scripture appraise the reign of Joash?
[A] He became king when he was seven years old and reigned forty years in Jerusalem (2 Kings 11:21-12:1).
[B] He “did right in the sight of the Lord all his days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him” (2 Kings 12:2). After the death of Jehoiada, Joash went astray (2 Chronicles 24:15-19). He listened to the wrong people and consequently “abandoned the house of the Lord” and stopped listening to the prophets of God. He even ordered the stoning of Zechariah, Jehoiada’s son, because he called the nation to accountability for sinning against God (2 Chronicles 24:20-22). The Scripture records that Joash “did not remember the kindness which [Zechariah’s] father Jehoiada had shown him” (2 Chronicles 24:22).
[C] He did not remove the high places (2 Kings 12:3 and also 2 Chronicles 24:18).
Practical Consideration: We should listen to wise counsel.
After the death of Jehoiada, Joash lost his moral and spiritual bearings. He listened to people who had an agenda contrary to what is pleasing to God. As a result, he permitted and tolerated things that were displeasing to God. When God sent his prophets, and Jehoiada’s son, to call him to accountability, he did not listen to them. He opposed the wise counsel of God’s prophets and even had Jehoiada’s son killed. This course of action had serious consequences both for Joash and the nation.
What charge did Joash give to the priests and Levites?
“Joash decided to restore the house of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 24:4). Apparently, the house of God had fallen into disrepair (2 Kings 12:5) and suffered abuse during the period of Ahaziah’s reign and Athaliah’s evil influence (2 Chronicles 24:7). The deterioration of God’s house was evidence of the national deterioration.
Joash instructed the priests and Levites to collect monies from throughout the land to fund the project. Joash displayed great zeal for repairing the house of God, the place where, as a child, he found sanctuary. The Levites however, seemed less enthusiastic. The Scripture records, “But the Levites did not act quickly” (2 Chronicles 24:5).
Did the priests and Levites fulfill the king’s charge?
As stated above, the priests and Levites “did not act quickly.” In fact, Joash called them to account for why the work on the house of God had not been done (2 Kings 12:6-8 and 2 Chronicles 24:6).
What actions did Joash take to repair the Temple?
[A] A chest was made to collect monies and placed outside the house of the Lord (2 Kings 12:9 and 2 Chronicles 24:8).
[B] A proclamation was made that people place their offerings in the chest (2 Chronicles 24:9-11).
[C] The funds were used to hire workmen to repair the house of the Lord (2 Kings 12:11-14 and 2 Chronicles 24:12-14). The workmen were so honest that they were not required to give an accounting of how they spent the money (2 Kings 12:15-16), and, in fact, returned whatever monies they did not use to the king and Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 24:14).
Practical Consideration: We should be concerned about the condition of the church’s facilities.
Joash expressed great zeal in promoting the repair and restoration of the house of the Lord. He organized the leaders and implemented a plan to raise the funds for the repair work. We too, should be concerned about the condition of the church’s facilities. Our facilities should be carefully maintained so that the present and future generations may use them in the service of the Lord.
What does the Bible tell us about Joash’s military exploits?
[A] After Hazael fought against and captured the Philistine city of Gath, “he set his face to go up to Jerusalem” (2 Kings 12:17). Joash placated Hazael by giving him items from among the treasuries of the temple and the king’s house (2 Kings 12:18).
[B] A small Syrian force defeated Judah’s forces on a later occasion. Judah’s defeat in battle was a direct result of the nation’s spiritual decline (2 Chronicles 24:23-24).
How did Joash die?
His own servants murdered Joash as he lay ill on his bed. The reason he was murdered was “because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest” (2 Chronicles 24:25-26). His death fulfilled the dying words of Zechariah, Jehoiada’s son, “May the Lord see and avenge!” (2 Chronicles 24:22). He was buried in the city of David but not in the tomb of the kings (2 Chronicles 24:26). What a sad end to a reign that began with the shouts, “Long live the king!” and a covenant to follow the Lord’s leadership (2 Kings 11:12, 17). “Then Amaziah his son became king in his place” (2 Chronicles 24:27).