Yesterday, in 2 Kings 11, we were introduced to Jehoash. I won’t rehash the whole story, but after his dad died, his grandmother, Athaliah, kinda killed off all of his siblings. After hiding the baby king, the priest, Jehoiada, pulled off his plan to crown him king of Judah at the ripe old age of 6.
As chapter 12 opens, we learn four important things in the first three verses. First, in the northern kingdom of Israel, Jehu (2 Kings 9 & 10) is in his seventh year. Second, Jehoash’s forty-year reign is summed up in a single chapter. Thus, we consider the proportion of that forty years and how verses 4–16 deal with a single effort to repair the temple, it must be a big deal to the author of 2nd Kings. Third, Jehoash was judged by the Lord as doing “right,” but it is qualified by the lifespan of Jehoiada the priest. Once Jehoiada died, Jehoash went off the rails and was ultimately murdered in bed (2 Chronicles 24). Lastly, like the kings before and after, he never took down the alters in the high places that strangled Judah in idolatry.
There are two important things we need to learn from this story. First, changed lives change lives. This is something I say to the guys I disciple, and we see it here. Look at verse 15, “they did not require an accounting from the men into whose hand they gave the money to pay to those who did the work, for they dealt faithfully.” That is not Springer show material. Because Jehoash lived for the Lord under his mentor Jehoiada, the whole kingdom responded in righteousness. These men had such integrity, that there was no need to keep an account—“they dealt faithfully.” If you want to influence your family, your co-workers, your __________, then live consistently with the change of life offered in Christ. In other words, be the change you want to see in others.
Secondly, just because you live for the Lord one day, doesn’t mean that you will finish well. I’m not talking about salvation, I’m talking about maintaining a consistent walk with the Lord all the days of your life. Amazingly, the overwhelming majority of biblical people do not finish well. Here we see an example from Jehoash. He started out well with a desire to repair the house of God. He made a plan, it took a little to get going, but ultimately the repairs were made. However, once it was repaired and filled with treasures, Israel fell into sin. The consequences of sin was a powerlessness to defeat Aram in battle. Jehoash gave away all of the temple treasure to buy off Hazael. This downfall is told in greater detail in 2 Chronicles 24, but Jehoash was beaten badly. He fled, but while he rested one evening on his journey, he was killed.
Spiritual success, just like spiritual failure, should not define you. If you succeed one day, the next may begin the decline, unless you guard your steps. As I recently read from a bible teacher, there is a difference between success and the fruits of success. We all want the reward that success brings. Success, however, isn’t found in it’s rewards, but in the daily, consistent, struggle. Remaining faithful is success. And one day our faithfulness will be rewarded.
What stood out in this story? What is God teaching you that you need to act on?
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate