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Jehoiada the priest had not only saved Joash’s life when he was a baby, but he had also been a marvelous mentor and example to Joash. Jehoiada passed on years of wisdom and Godly help as he walked along the way with King Joash.
But now that King Joash’s mentor and helper and teacher was gone, it was up to King Joash to lead the people in all he had learned!
But as soon as no one was watching Joash anymore, as soon as no one was telling him what he should do, it was like everything good that Joash had — Crumbled.
He started listening to bad advice of those around him. He abandoned God’s House. He let the people start worshipping false god Asherah poles again. Just like that — Crumble! Crumble! Crumble! — nothing good left.
All the years Jehoiada the priest was alive, Joash had seemed like a pretty good guy who really cared about what God cared about. But once Jehoiada was gone, it was clear that the good things that Joash had done before weren’t really because he knew God himself. The good things he’d done were just externals — things he’d done only because someone else was there holding his hand. Joash was not looking up, with Heaven-Seeing-Eyes, himself. When someone doesn’t look to Heaven themselves, the result is always crumbling (no matter how good of mentors or helpers they’ve had). What a sad shame.
Even though we haven’t mentioned him yet, there was another guy who had grown up with all the same wisdom and love and help from Jehoiada — Jehoiada’s son, Zechariah.
When Zechariah saw the people turning away and refusing God’s help, he was stirred up with God’s Spirit. He warned the people, “You can’t prosper when you’re breaking God’s rules! Why are you doing this?! You have turned away from God, so now He has to turn away from you.”
But the people didn’t want to listen to his warning. King Joash didn’t want to listen either.
Another thing that happens when someone crumbles? They forget. King Joash forgot all about the kindness that Zechariah’s father, Jehoiada, had shown him. He forgot how Zechariah’s father had saved his life and cared for him. He forgot how Jehoiada had guided and taught him about the ways of God. That probably really hurt Zechariah to see that.
Everyone was so upset with Zechariah telling them they were wrong, that they plotted and planned to kill him. Even King Joash agreed to the plan.
So now, not only did Zechariah no longer have his dad close by to help him, but now NO ONE around him seemed to care about God at all. He seemed liked the only one.
But still, he chose to do what was Right, no matter what everyone else around him chose. He did not crumble. He was steady and loyal to God. Even as they were throwing rocks at him, Zechariah looked up to God and cried, “Take notice of what is happening here, God.”
His Forever-Life was Safe in God’s hands.
So here we have two guys, Joash and Zechariah, raised by the same Godly father figure. But once their “daddy” was gone… one crumbled because he only built with externals. And one shined with God’s glory because he looked up to Heaven himself and had a relationship with God.
Sometime later, some men got rid of King Joash. But because of what he’d done to Zechariah, and how he turned away from God, Joash wasn’t even buried with the kings. Unlike Jehoiada, Joash had not honored God with his life or helped the people. Some of the people must have recognized that about him. So maybe Zechariah wasn’t necessarily as alone as he probably felt that day.
Some days you may feel all alone, even if it’s not true. I hope you never feel alone, and I hope you always have a godly daddy with you to help you make decisions. But if one day you feel all alone or your daddy (or someone who has helped you learn to follow God) isn’t close by for some reason, remember that you must make a choice of who you are going to be. And God, your Daddy in Heaven, is just waiting for you to Look up and sing:
Though none go with me, still I will follow Though none go with me, still I will follow Though none go with me, still I will follow No turning back! No turning back!