Grace and Wrath Podcast
Ep. 142: Joash
Joash was seven years old when he became king of Judah. Jehoiada, the high priest, taught the king and helped him live a godly life. As long as Jehoiada lived, Joash followed the ways of the Lord.
When the king was older, he decided to make repairs on the Temple of the Lord. Athaliah had taken every thing of value out of it to use in the worship of Baal.
Joash assigned priests and Levites to go throughout the nation and collect money for Temple repairs and annual upkeep. Many years earlier, Moses had provided for this by imposing a tax.
They started collecting the money, but the repairs didn’t start. The king finally realized the money was being used for administration costs and for other things the priests thought important.”
It was clear that the priests and Levites were the wrong people to oversee the Temple repair. Joash decided on a different method. He told men to make a large box and put it at the Temple gate. He then announced that people were to bring their money for the Temple and put it in the box.
The people of Judah liked this, so they brought their offerings and put them in the box. When it got full, the money was given to the men making the repairs. This gave them the ability to keep at their work and not slow down. They were men of integrity, so the king didn’t require them to give an accounting of the money and how it was spent.
The offerings kept coming in even after the work was done. So the extra money was used for making various tools of worship. The people of Judah became faithful at coming to the Temple and worshiping God.
All of this was done while Jehoiada was still alive. He died when he was 130 years old, having lived a good life. He had served his king, his God, and the people of Judah.
After his death, Joash listened to various leaders of Judah who wanted a different direction for the nation. He allowed them to make changes, and soon the people stopped going to the Temple to worship God. Instead they turned to idols and sex goddesses.
The Lord sent prophets to preach against this. The son of Jehoiada was now a priest. God had him stand before the people and say, “If you leave the Lord, he’ll leave you.”
The people rejected this message and wanted to kill the priest. Finally Joash ordered him to be stoned, even though he was the son of Jehoiada, who had been a faithful friend and advisor.
Soon afterwards, God allowed a small Syrian army to conquer the superior army of Judah and take Jerusalem. Many of the Jewish leaders were killed, the king was badly wounded, and the Syrians took everything of value. After they left, several men went into the king’s bedroom and killed him.
Joash had been king for 40 years. The people didn’t bury him in the tombs of the kings because of what he had done to the son of Jehoiada.