Preserved for the throne, Joash was seven years old when he was brought out of temple concealment and publicly revealed. Also on that day “Jehoiada and his sons anointed him and said, ‘Long live the king!’” (2 Chronicles 23:11 NASB). Six years previously his aunt, in a daring deed, had rescued the boy from infanticide (“The Princess Who Saved a Dynasty”).
Relying on his uncle’s counsel, “Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest” (2 Chronicles 24:2 NASB). Did you notice the time limitation, “all the days of Jehoiada the priest”? For when Uncle Jehoiada died, Joash made an about-face.
He listened to other voices, ones that convinced him to abandon the worship of God and accept idolatry. Why did Joash, having been hidden in the temple, steeped in the things of God, and raised by the high priest, stop doing what was right? Why did he become vulnerable to the vices and devices of others?
Could it be that Joash had never formed his own attachment to God? That for forty years he had ridden piggyback on his uncle’s faith? That when push came to shove, he had no spiritual leg of his own to stand on?
Without the sure-footing of a personal commitment to God, Joash let evil officials sway him and shape him. That slippery slope led to the murder of his cousin Zechariah, who had dared denounce the king’s wickedness.
So they conspired against him and at the command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the Lord. Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which his father Jehoiada had shown him, but he murdered his son (2 Chronicles 24:21-22 NASB).
The once snatched-from-death infant sank to depths of depravity: No respect for the house of God! No reverence for life! No regard for a family’s kindness when he was helpless!
Like an eternal flame, grief ignited at the king’s unthinkable act burned on in some lives. Seven years after the tragedy, Joash’s “own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and murdered him on his bed” (2 Chronicles 24:25 NASB).
But let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me [personally and practically, directly discerning and recognizing My character], that I am the Lord, Who practices loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord (Jeremiah 9:24 AMPC).