The Example of Joash

2 Chronicles 24:22, “Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, The Lord look upon it, and require it.”

So often we see children of God begin a walk of obedience to the Lord, only later to fall by the way, being allured by their own carnal nature and the devil, to the temptations of this world.

In the text previously cited, we read about Joash the king of Judah. This man was one who experienced great blessings in his life. In 2 Chronicles 22:11, it was Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, wife of Jehoiada the priest, that saved his young life from the murderous efforts of Athaliah. In 2 Chronicles 24 we read about the instruction and help that Joash received from Jehoiada the priest, and how “Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.” But, after the death of Jehoiada the priest (2 Chron 24:17), Joash hearkened unto the ungodly princes of Judah and turned from serving the Lord. The Lord, in His mercy, “sent prophets to them: but they would not give ear.” By the end of 2 Chronicles 24:22, Joash and the princes of Judah had “conspired” against “Zechariah the son of Jahoiada” and “stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the Lord.” The King Joash, who had been blessed of the Lord so much, commanded others to kill the son of the priest who had helped him. The one that started so well did not finish as he had begun. This event was one of such ungodliness that Jesus, in His personal ministry, mentioned it in Matthew 23:35 and Luke 11:51.
Dear child of God, my prayer is that not only you will begin a life of obedience to the Lord, but also that you would continue in that obedient life. That you would have the diligent and persevering effort of the spider (Proverbs 30:28) who cannot be swept from the King’s house. In Hebrews 12:1-2 we learn that our life of obedience is a race. When we consider this race, let us:

(1) Consider getting started. It is urgent that we begin this race by following the Lord in the obedience of Baptism. Paul, in Romans 13:11, exhorts us to start today.

(2) Consider the hurdles that we will encounter in our race. In Luke 14:28-33, Jesus told a two part parable about considering the cost. In this beautiful lesson, Jesus instructs us to be prepared for the hurdles that SHALL come. Let us not be as those in Galatians 6:7 who, “did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”

(3) Consider the nourishment that our spiritual life requires to endure in this race. When we have not properly nourished ourselves with regular Church service, Bible reading and prayer, it will be difficult, if not impossible to continue to run. No wonder Jesus tells Peter in John 21:15-17 to “feed my lambs” and “feed my sheep.”

(4) Consider the weight of unbelief that can slow us down. Trusting in Jesus for our help and supply will help us in keeping our eyes and hearts going in the right direction. The Hebrews were instructed to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us” (Hebrews 12:1).

(5) Consider the goal. In running our race, we should not look to the world, but to Jesus Christ our Lord. One day we will see Him in the clouds, but until that day, let us run a race of obedience to the glory of His name. Amen!

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