Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 24:1-25:28 / 1 Corinthians 16:5-24 / Psalm 102:18-28
What would you do for a person who rescued your life from certain death? I believe you would never forget their heroic act and show eternal gratitude to them. As a one-year-old boy, Joash faced certain death when his grandmother, Athaliah in her effort to rule Judah, systematically killed all of the royal princes. Jehosheba, Joash’s aunt and wife of Jehoiada the priest, hid Joash in the temple and protected him from Athaliah for 6 years.
When Joash was 7 years old, Jehoiada took the young boy and anointed him King of Judah. He protected the young kings life by killing the wicked Athaliah and all of the people rejoiced. Jehoiada served King Joash faithfully and counseled him in the ways of the Lord. When Jehoiada died at 130 years of age, Joash forsook God and His ways.
Joash abandoned the temple, worshiped Asherah poles and led the nation in idol worship. The judgment of God came upon the nation and God sent many prophets to bring Joash back to Him. All of this was to no avail as Joash continued in rebellion and idolatry.
Finally, God sent a strong message to Joash through Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada. Zechariah said “This is what God says: 'Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.'”
(2 Chronicles 24:20) Joash responded in great rage and had Zechariah stoned… “King Joash did not remember the kindness Zechariah’s father Jehoiada had shown him but killed his son…”
Zechariah’s father saved Joash’s life, raised him, provided for him and faithfully served him. Joash forgot the kindness and mercy he was shown and killed the son of the man who had spared his life. It doesn’t make sense but Joash had reached a point in life where his conscience was seared and his heart was hardened. He had lost all respect and honor for those who deeply cared for him. He thought only of himself, driven by pride, defiant towards God, and given over to great wickedness.
Can we ever forget the kindness of someone? It is easily done…not to the degree of Joash but forgotten nonetheless. We can get so caught up with our own life that the needs and lives of others become meaningless or insignificant. God speaks to our duty to love and care for those who have given so much to us: parents, friends and mentors. Guard your heart against the Joash syndrome… do not repay evil for good because God is true to His word “judgment was executed on Joash.” (24:24)