The Problem with Joash
II Chronicles 23-24 describes the rise and fall of King Joash of Judah. He was made king as a young boy. Fortunately, he had wise advisers around him, including Jehoiada, the High Priest. With the Godly influence in his life, he proceeded to tear down pagan altars, burn and destroy idols, and bring back the worship that God prescribed for Israel. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord.
However, Joash did not have the deep personal relationship with God that God intends for us. After Jehoiada died, Joash began to listen to unwise counsel from the leaders in Judah. He began to worship false gods and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord. His relationship to God only existed through Jehoiada; when he was gone, Joash was left floundering, unable to make wise decisions for himself.
Eventually, Joash was killed in his own bed as revenge for killing the sons of Jehoiada. He wasn't even buried in the tombs of the kings. After all his good works, he joined the ranks of the evil kings.
The same can happen to us, and happened to me. I grew up as a PC, a preacher's kid. The influences in my life were Godly and Holy. However, when I became old enough to have some independence, I began to make poor decisions and take false gods to myself. I ignored God for 12 years, pursuing the pleasures that I wanted in any moment. I did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.
Praise God for second chances. God found a way to break through my idolatry and bring me back to his throne. I am not destined to end the same as Joash did.
Beware of the mistake of Joash. Your relationship with God is your responsibility, not the responsibility of your pastor or your parents. In order to do what is right in the sight of the Lord, we must maintain that relationship.
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