Bible Reading / Book By Book: 1 Kings to Psalms
Day 47 / 2 Chronicles 24
Chapters 17-23 tell of some other kings of Judah. We are also told of Athaliah, whom we read about in 2 Kings 11. She tried to kill all of her grandsons so she could seize the throne. She doesn’t know Joash survived, so he becomes king at age 7. Not surprisingly, Joash is not ready to reign on his own and is mentored by a priest named Jehoiada. Joash does well while his mentor is alive, but turns against God when Jehoiada dies. Joash goes even as far as killing the son of his loyal mentor.
There is a difference between character and behavior. Apparently Jehoiada had successfully influenced Joash’s behavior, but not his character. If a person does the right thing because they don’t want to be punished for doing the wrong thing, that’s good behavior, but not good character. Good character does the right thing because they want to. Do you look good on the outside, but inside desire to do the wrong things? Do you behave differently when there is no chance of getting caught? If so, ask God to change your character (Galatians 5:22 & 23). Just behaving better isn’t enough.
2 Chronicles 24 (NASB)
Young Joash Influenced by Jehoiada
Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zibiah from Beersheba. 2 Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. 3 Jehoiada took two wives for him, and he became the father of sons and daughters.
4 Now it came about after this that Joash decided to restore the house of the Lord. 5 He gathered the priests and Levites and said to them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel to repair the house of your God annually, and you shall do the matter quickly.” But the Levites did not act quickly.6 So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest and said to him, “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and from Jerusalem the levy fixed by Moses the servant of the Lord on the congregation of Israel for the tent of the testimony?” 7 For the sons of the wicked Athaliah had broken into the house of God and even used the holy things of the house of the Lord for the Baals.
8 So the king commanded, and they made a chest and set it outside by the gate of the house of the Lord. 9 They made a proclamation in Judah and Jerusalem to bring to the Lord the levy fixed by Moses the servant of God on Israel in the wilderness. 10 All the officers and all the people rejoiced and brought in their levies and dropped them into the chest until they had finished. 11 It came about whenever the chest was brought in to the king’s officer by the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, then the king’s scribe and the chief priest’s officer would come, empty the chest, take it, and return it to its place. Thus they did daily and collected much money. 12 The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who did the work of the service of the house of the Lord; and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of the Lord, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the house of the Lord. 13 So the workmen labored, and the repair work progressed in their hands, and they restored the house of God according to its specifications and strengthened it. 14 When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada; and it was made into utensils for the house of the Lord, utensils for the service and the burnt offering, and pans and utensils of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord continually all the days of Jehoiada.
15 Now when Jehoiada reached a ripe old age he died; he was one hundred and thirty years old at his death. 16 They buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done well in Israel and to God and His house.
17 But after the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them. 18 They abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols; so wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their guilt. 19 Yet He sent prophets to them to bring them back to the Lord; though they testified against them, they would not listen.
Joash Murders Son of Jehoiada
20 Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he stood above the people and said to them, “Thus God has said, ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord and do not prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, He has also forsaken you.’” 21 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. 22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which his father Jehoiada had shown him, but he murdered his son. And as he died he said, “May the Lord see and avenge!”
Aram Invades and Defeats Judah
23 Now it happened at the turn of the year that the army of the Arameans came up against him; and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, destroyed all the officials of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. 24 Indeed the army of the Arameans came with a small number of men; yet the Lord delivered a very great army into their hands, because they had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash.
25 When they had departed from him (for they left him very sick), his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and murdered him on his bed. So he died, and they buried him in the city of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings. 26 Now these are those who conspired against him: Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess. 27 As to his sons and the many oracles against him and the rebuilding of the house of God, behold, they are written in the treatise of the Book of the Kings. Then Amaziah his son became king in his place.