Finish What You Started

Posted: December 30, 2010 in 2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 23-24, “Finish What You Started”

The story of Joash is one of contrasts.  As things begin, we get grand hope as we see the promises of God kept, and the glory of God prevail.  Yet as things come a close, we see Joash take his eyes off of the Lord to dreadful consequences.  Like so many who have come before (and after), Joash started the race, but couldn’t finish it.

Before we get too far into Ch 23, we actually need to back up a bit in Ch 22 for context.  The king of Judah (Ahaziah) has been killed by Jehu (God’s instrument of justice in Israel).  Jehu was far reaching in his zeal in that he not only killed Ahaziah, but the other princes & those who served Ahaziah.  At that point, Ahaziah’s mother Athaliah (the daughter of King Ahab of the north) saw an opportunity & snatched it.  [READ 2 Chr 22:10-12] 

So we’re left at a place where the Davidic dynasty & Messianic promise of God stands on the edge of a knife, ready to fall.  All the rightful heirs to the throne are dead, save Joash, who was hidden away in the temple as a baby.  Athaliah seems to know nothing of his survival, and usurps the throne for herself.  For the 1st time since the reign of David, a non-Davidic monarch (not even a king…a queen!) sits on the throne of Jerusalem – a pawn of Satan attempting to destroy God’s promise of the coming Messiah.

Here’s the good news: Satan isn’t in charge; God is.  God is still on His throne & His promises are always proven to be true – even in the darkest of circumstances.  And that’s exactly what we see as the history picks up in Ch 23.

2 Chronicles 23 (NKJV)
1 In the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and made a covenant with the captains of hundreds: Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri. 2 And they went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the chief fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. 3 Then all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And he said to them, “Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the Lord has said of the sons of David.

  1. Jehoiada = the High Priest.  Took 6 years to get his plan & people together, but it was necessary time in order to do things right.  He gathered those loyal to the true king…thus loyal to God.  By being loyal to the family of David, they show themselves loyal to the promises of God (by trusting in God’s choice for the coming Messianic king).
    1. The Chronicler even named them!  Easy to understand – they would have been considered national heroes because of their commitment to God’s choice of king. 
    2. May we be those who would be among the named…that all the world would know of our commitment to King Jesus!
  2. Made a public commitment of their loyalty: the “covenant.”  At least, as public as the conspiracy was able to be made at that time – Athaliah was still on the throne, and the very act of meeting together could have meant their death.  But in front of each other, they all became accountable to each other in their service to God & to the king.  This was a serious issue (basically a governmental coup – an overthrow of the queen)…they were committed to the death.  They’d be successful or die trying.
    1. It’s tough to speak of commitment to Christ & not think of the persecuted church around the world.  Every day, people are literally committed unto death for Jesus.  Torture does not sway them, nor does prison weaken their resolve.  We need to pray for them!  And pray that God would strengthen us when our time comes.
  3. Note their trust that God will give them victory.  They speak in faith: “the king’s son shall reign.”  It’s not their resolve or their own will that will ensure the son of David sits on the throne; this was according to the word of God.  This was what “the Lord has said of the sons of David.”  Our God is a covenant-keeping God…He will always be faithful!  If God said that David’s sons would reign, we can be assured that God would ensure this would happen, no matter what attack Satan may bring!
    1. Understand we have a powerful enemy, but the Devil is no match for the Lord God Almighty!  Between the Infinite All-powerful God, and a mere created fallen angel, there simply is no comparison…  Things might look extraordinarily dark, and on the edge of Satan’s victory for a time, but Satan will NEVER be victorious over God!  No doubt Satan rejoiced when Jesus hung on the cross & died – no doubt Satan thought he snuck one over God when Jesus was in the tomb – but Satan had nothing on God when Jesus rose again!  It was God’s plan that Jesus would suffer & die, in order that He might purchase our redemption from the grave & offer us new life in the resurrection.  Bottom line: no matter how bad things look, we can always trust the promises of our God.  He will always be true to His word, will, and purposes.

4 This is what you shall do: One-third of you entering on the Sabbath, of the priests and the Levites, shall be keeping watch over the doors; 5 one-third shall be at the king’s house; and one-third at the Gate of the Foundation. All the people shall be in the courts of the house of the Lord. 6 But let no one come into the house of the Lord except the priests and those of the Levites who serve. They may go in, for they are holy; but all the people shall keep the watch of the Lord. 7 And the Levites shall surround the king on all sides, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whoever comes into the house, let him be put to death. You are to be with the king when he comes in and when he goes out.”

  1. The Plan. At the changing of the priests & the guard on the Sabbath, the group would be ready to make their move.  They’d be positioned in the palace, the temple, and at the gates.  The Levites & priests would do into the temple per their normal duty, bring out the king from the temple & in the midst of all the people, surround him & proclaim him king.
  2. Note everyone had a role – all of them were dependent upon the other.  Not unlike how the Church is supposed to work.  We’ll all a part of the body of Christ, and we’re all interdependent upon one another.

8 So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded. And each man took his men who were to be on duty on the Sabbath, with those who were going off duty on the Sabbath; for Jehoiada the priest had not dismissed the divisions. 9 And Jehoiada the priest gave to the captains of hundreds the spears and the large and small shields which had belonged to King David, that were in the temple of God. 10 Then he set all the people, every man with his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the temple to the left side of the temple, along by the altar and by the temple, all around the king. 11 And they brought out the king’s son, put the crown on him, gave him the Testimony, and made him king. Then Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, “Long live the king!”

  1. Plan was executed perfectly & the proclamation went out that Joash was the king.  Interestingly enough, some of the very shields that David had made decades prior were used as protection for the group.  We wonder why David & Solomon would have placed shields within the Temple – here we see them in practical use!  (God’s provision is amazing!)
  2. The Testimony” = a copy of the Law…likely a copy of Deuteronomy, the covenant of God with the people of Israel.  Aside from receiving the Law in accordance to the commandment (Dt 17:18), this was appropriate on a couple of levels:
    1. Joash was to govern the people according to the Law of God.  Even though he was king, Joash didn’t have the right to do just whatever he wanted in the government.  Ultimately, he was a steward of God’s people, and he was accountable to the Lord for how he governed.
    2. Joash was only king because of the Law & Covenant of God.  If it weren’t for the covenant God had already made with David concerning the kingdom, the people would have no reason at all to receive a 7 year old boy as king.  Everything he had been given was due directly to the promises of God!
  3. Of course, we’re no different in the Church.  Not only are we obligated to follow the word of God as our standard for doctrine & practice (something has to be the standard, and it’s God’s WORD; not man’s whimsical thoughts & traditions) – but in addition, we need to recognize that we are but stewards of everything God has given us.  Whatever we’ve received, we’ve received because of the goodness & grace of our God in Christ Jesus. … When we keep these things in mind, it helps us keep the right perspective on everything else!  When we remember God is God (and we’re not) & live our lives in submission to His word, we have a great guard in our lives against idolatry & other sin.  (Joash is going to forget this lesson as time goes on…)

12 Now when Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people in the temple of the Lord. 13 When she looked, there was the king standing by his pillar at the entrance; and the leaders and the trumpeters were by the king. All the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets, also the singers with musical instruments, and those who led in praise. So Athaliah tore her clothes and said, “Treason! Treason!”

  1. Not a little ironic…Athaliah was truly the treasonous one, but she proclaimed it upon the others.  It’s just like the Devil to claim legitimacy where he has none.

14 And Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds who were set over the army, and said to them, “Take her outside under guard, and slay with the sword whoever follows her.” For the priest had said, “Do not kill her in the house of the Lord.” 15 So they seized her; and she went by way of the entrance of the Horse Gate into the king’s house, and they killed her there.

  1. She couldn’t be killed within the confines of the Temple, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t be killed elsewhere.  She was executed at the Horse Gate…not exactly the cleanest place for an execution – but appropriate given the filth in which she reigned.
  2. The usurper of the world will also be publicly executed.  Satan will be imprisoned for 1000 years, and then thrown into the lake of fire for all eternity.

16 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, the people, and the king, that they should be the Lord’s people.

  1. Renewed the covenant.  This isn’t so much a new covenant, as it was a renewal of the covenant the people had with God under David & Solomon (1st instituted under Moses – re: the whole book of Deuteronomy).  God was their God & they were His people, subservient to Him in all things.  After Athaliah’s pervasive idolatry as the illegitimate queen, it was important to re-emphasize their foundations as a nation: their entire reason to exist was due to the grace & covenant of God.
  2. In keeping with renewing the covenant, they also brought restoration to their worship.  See vs. 17…

17 And all the people went to the temple of Baal, and tore it down. They broke in pieces its altars and images, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.

  1. Destroyed the false temple.  We don’t know exactly when this temple was built, but the very fact that a temple to a false god existed in the land of Judah is terrible!  This was the land of the people that were supposedly dedicated to the Lord, and God’s own temple that He chose for His own dwelling place was in Jerusalem.  And in the midst of that privilege, a false temple was constructed?!  So sad.
  2. Destroyed the false altars.  Beyond the imitation location of worship, there were imitations of where to offer sacrifices.  Instead of burning sacrifices to the One True God on His chosen altar, people would offer sacrifices to the Baal gods on their various altars around the land.  These had to be taken out, without fail.  Jehoiada (and Joash) had these broken in pieces, ensuring they would not be rebuilt.
  3. Destroyed the false priests.  This may seem harsh, but it was according to the Law of God.  Priests & prophets who led the people in idolatrous worship were to be publicly executed (Deut 13).  Priests are supposed to have a role of dual-representation: representing the people to God, and representing God to the people.  By representing a false god, the false priest gives false assurance – in essence lying about the One True God, and fully deserving of the death sentence.
  4. All false imitations of the true worship of the true God!  Judah already had a REAL temple, REAL altars, and REAL priests – all representing the REAL God.  Yet all of it had been neglected by Athaliah as she led the people in idolatry & apostasy.  On the face of it, people could talk themselves into feeling better: “Well, at least we went to A temple today & offered sacrifices.  It may not look like it did before, but surely it was the same thing.”  No it wasn’t!  False worship is given to a false god, and every bit of it is stolen away from what the True God rightly deserves.
    1. All religions are not all the same.  We’re not all feeling “different portions of the elephant” so to speak…  Scripture makes it clear that people who sacrifice to idols sacrifice to demons (1 Cor 10:20), and it’s so important to God that it’s the very 1st of the 10 Commandments: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” If we get THIS wrong, we get everything wrong about God.
    2. The good news is that God has already revealed Himself to us through Jesus Christ.  Jesus told us that if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father & that no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6-7).  We don’t need to guess around at different ideas of religion or different versions of god, trying to figure out which human prophet or human teacher is telling us about the right one.  We can take the testimony of God Himself on the matter: JESUS is God, and JESUS reveals God to us – proven through His death & resurrection!

 

18 Also Jehoiada appointed the oversight of the house of the Lord to the hand of the priests, the Levites, whom David had assigned in the house of the Lord, to offer the burnt offerings of the Lord, as it is written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, as it was established by David.

  1. In revival, you don’t just take down the false, you restore the true – and that’s exactly what Jehoiada did.  Restored the priestly duties in the true temple of God.
  2. FYI, note that the offerings of worship were to be done with “rejoicing & singing.”  Giving unto the Lord was to be done in an atmosphere of praise & worship.  Whether it was bringing the burnt offering of consecration, or the sin/trespass offerings, or whatever it was – all of it was to be done with praise.  Our offering to God is always to be with praise & worship; never out of grudging obligation & drudgery.  The offering itself is an act of worship between you & the Lord – let it be done with a joyful heart!

19 And he set the gatekeepers at the gates of the house of the Lord, so that no one who was in any way unclean should enter.

  1. In addition to restoring the work of the priesthood, Jehoiada restored the work of the gatekeepers.  This would ensure purity among those who came to worship God.

20 Then he took the captains of hundreds, the nobles, the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought the king down from the house of the Lord; and they went through the Upper Gate to the king’s house, and set the king on the throne of the kingdom. 21 So all the people of the land rejoiced; and the city was quiet, for they had slain Athaliah with the sword.

  1. Formal coronation for Joash.  He had already been crowned in the temple courts; now they had the later coronation in the palace with Athaliah gone.
  2. The people rejoiced that the usurper was gone…apparently her support on the throne was pretty weak.  They couldn’t wait to get rid of her & get back to God’s choice of king.
  3. One day we will join in the same celebration.  The Usurper will be removed & dealt with.  And everyone will recognize the True King.  Praise God – Maranatha!!

2 Chronicles 24 (NKJV)
1 Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. 2 Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.

  1. Joash was a good king, for the most part.  Note the one qualification:  he did what was right during “all the days of Jehoiada the priest.”  Jehoiada undoubtedly served as a father-figure for Joash, and as long as Jehoiada was alive, Joash did what was right.  Once Jehoiada’s influence is removed, things will quickly go downhill for Joash.
  2. Like many in history, Joash starts out well but will end poorly.

3 And Jehoiada took two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters.

  1. Obviously Jehoiada didn’t do everything right.  Taking two wives for Joash was never God’s plan.  God specifically instructed the kings not to multiply wives for themselves (Dt 17:17).  Granted, only two wives is a pretty small number in comparison with some (i.e. Solomon! 1000 wives & concubines), but God’s plan is for one husband + one wife = one marriage.  We’re made one flesh with our spouse as God joins us together spiritually with them.  That’s a specific covenant relationship that is intended to last for life; not something to be treated casually & casually tossed aside when convenient.
  2. That said, Jehoiada did have a good intent here: instead of leaving Joash to his own devices, possibly picking another evil queen like Athaliah for his own, Jehoiada picked out Joash’s wives for him.
    1. Parents ought to want to have a huge influence on who their children pick to date & marry – even if perhaps we don’t pick their spouses for them.  We have a larger influence than we might expect, just in the way we maintain our own marriages.  Jehoiada was married to a woman who feared the Lord (Jehoshabeath, Ch 22:11) who demonstrated her faith by hiding the baby Joash in the temple.  Joash needed a similar God-fearing woman for his own wife (it’s just that he needed ONE; not two) – this had already been exampled for him.

4 Now it happened after this that Joash set his heart on repairing the house of the Lord.

  1. Remember that the priests, the worship, and the gatekeepers were already restored.  Apparently the temple building itself was in disrepair & Joash set about restoring that as well.

5 Then he gathered the priests and the Levites, and said to them, “Go out to the cities of Judah, and gather from all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that you do it quickly.” However the Levites did not do it quickly. 6 So the king called Jehoiada the chief priest, and said to him, “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and from Jerusalem the collection, according to the commandment of Moses the servant of the Lord and of the assembly of Israel, for the tabernacle of witness?”

  1. The king gave the command, but the priests were slow in their duties.  Thus Joash called Jehoiada to the carpet for it to give an account.  (The priest may have served as a father-figure to Joash, but as king, Joash had the responsibility to keep the priest accountable.)
  2. Note this was according to the law.  How so?  Moses had collected an offering for the construction of the tabernacle – the same principle carried over to the repair & maintenance of the temple.

7 For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God, and had also presented all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord to the Baals.

  1. Not the words of Joash…the author of Chronicles couldn’t help but insert a little commentary here.  Athaliah was truly a “wicked woman!”  What did she do in her wickedness?  Not only had she constructed a false temple & false altars, but she had raided the true temple of God to supply her false gods.
  2. How often do we see something similar today?  Wolves in sheep’s clothing come in among the people of God, and then take godly things & pervert them for worldly usage.  The gifts of the Holy Spirit are made out to be a circus carnival…  Sacrificial giving is made out to enrich charlatans…  The gospel is watered down to being non-existent…  The Scripture is paraphrased to an extent it’s beyond recognition…

8 Then at the king’s command they made a chest, and set it outside at the gate of the house of the Lord. 9 And they made a proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to bring to the Lord the collection that Moses the servant of God had imposed on Israel in the wilderness. 10 Then all the leaders and all the people rejoiced, brought their contributions, and put them into the chest until all had given. 11 So it was, at that time, when the chest was brought to the king’s official by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, that the king’s scribe and the high priest’s officer came and emptied the chest, and took it and returned it to its place. Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance.

  1. Seems to be a reference to when Moses received the atonement tax from the people when the Tabernacle was being built.  With Moses, God told the people to give the same amount per person (half a shekel – Exo 30:13).  Everyone (rich or poor) was to give the same amount.  Why?  Because the atonement of Christ is the same price for every person: it’s the same blood He shed for each one of us. Someone could not “purchase” God’s favor, if they wanted to – we’re all in need of the same grace & the same redemption.
  2. Beyond the idea of atonement, the tax/collection was to be for the service of the tabernacle as a memorial for the people (Exo 30:16).  Apparently the collection of this money had fallen off through the years, so Joash was calling for it to be renewed. 
  3. Notice it was done in an orderly fashion with a proper accounting.  This wasn’t a frantic time driven by emotion & manipulation; just a simply receipt of contribution from the people.  (In an offering box, no less! J)

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 repair the house of the Lord, and also those who worked in iron and bronze to restore the house of the Lord. 13 So the workmen labored, and the work was completed by them; they restored the house of God to its original condition and reinforced it. 14 When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada; they made from it articles for the house of the Lord, articles for serving and offering, spoons and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord continually all the days of Jehoiada.

  1. The money was used as it had been intended.  Skilled workers were hired for the building repair & new utensils were made from the leftover funds for use by the priests.  As a result, worship continued in the temple all the days of Jehoiada.

15 But Jehoiada grew old and was full of days, and he died; he was one hundred and thirty years old when he died. 16 And they buried him in the City of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God and His house.

  1. 130 years old!  Definitely “full of days!”  Buried with the full honors usually given to the kings because he had raised a king as his own son, & helped lead the people in national revival.
  2. What a great legacy!  He had done good “both toward God & His house.”  For Jehoiada, that meant the physical temple of God – for us, the equivalent would be the spiritual temple of God: the Church.  What a wonderful legacy it would be for us all to be known for our love towards the Lord Jesus & His Church!

17 Now after the death of Jehoiada the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them.

  1. Here’s where things go downhill for Joash.  All these years, the primary influence on his life had been Jehoiada.  Now other counselors enter the arena, and (as we’ll see) they do not fear the Lord as the priest had done.
  2. What’s sad about this is that apparently Joash did not have any solid convictions of his own regarding the Lord.  When Jehoiada was alive, Joash did what was good in the sight of God; once Jehoiada passed, Joash easily fell away.
    1. We cannot rely upon the faith of others in our walk with Christ.  Either we have a personal relationship with the Lord, or we don’t.  Either we are personally His servants & He is our Lord, or we’re not & He isn’t.  As has often been said, God the Father has no spiritual grandchildren, only children.

18 Therefore they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass. 19 Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the Lord; and they testified against them, but they would not listen.

  1. So sad!  After taking down all of the idols & altars, Joash leads the people in serving these false gods again.
  2. God sent discipline & God sent His prophets; Joash ignored them both. … It’s a dangerous thing to ignore both the discipline of God & the word of God.  Part of the function of the word of God is bring correction & reproof when it is needed (2 Tim 3:16), and God shows us that He loves us as children through His discipline (Heb 12:6).  To ignore both is to act as if God is not our father, but that we are indeed children of the world.

20 Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God: ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, He also has forsaken you.’ ”

  1. Jehoiada’s own son stands up as a prophet to rebuke the people (and the king).
  2. The lesson?  Don’t forsake the Lord!  When someone forsakes the Lord, the Lord will forsake them as well – no better example than Pharaoh regarding the slavery of the Hebrews.  1st Pharaoh hardened his heart, then God hardened it further (Exo 8-9). []  The good news is that the opposite is true, as well!  James 4:7-8a (7) Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (8) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. []  Whether you forsake the Lord or draw near to Him says a lot about our spiritual state.  Those who are in Christ ought to be continually drawing nearer to Him.  We may have hiccups along the way, but that’s going to be our general description.  However, those who consistently forsake the Lord may need to check their foundations: are they in Christ?

21 So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the Lord. 22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son; and as he died, he said, “The Lord look on it, and repay!”

  1. How far had Joash fallen into his sin?  He betrayed the memory of his own father-figure Jehoiada by ordering the death of Jehoiada’s son, Zechariah. Unfortunately, this was not uncommon within the kingdom of Judah.  Jesus referred to a similar event when chastising the Pharisees.  Matthew 23:34-36 (34) Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, (35) that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. (36) Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. []  Some believe that the two Zechariah’s are the same, with “Berechiah” either being his grandfather, or another name for Jehoiada.  Others think that Jesus is referring to the prophet whose book was named after him.  Either way, the persecution of the prophets was a common event in the history of Israel & Judah.
    1. Tie-in to Revelation: (Unger) “Zechariah represents the Tribulation martyrs, who will give testimony concerning the coming King at the end of this age, and whose blood will cry out for vengeance (Rev. 6:9-11).”
  2. God will not allow His people to continue acting like this.  He will bring further discipline!  For the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, the temple was destroyed brick-by-brick in 70AD – for today’s generation, those who do not repent prior to Jesus’ coming will face the Great Tribulation – for Joash, see vs. 23…

23 So it happened in the spring of the year that the army of Syria came up against him; and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the leaders of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. 24 For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men; but the Lord delivered a very great army into their hand, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash.

  1. Note that God was directly responsible for Judah’s defeat by Damascus.  Syria (or the “Arameans” depending on your translation) had a small army that was outnumbered by Judah, but God gave a mighty victory to the Syrians. …  This is exactly the opposite of what so often happened in the initial conquest of the land when God delivered bigger & stronger armies into the hand of Joshua & Israel.  Joash’s actions had made the people no different than those that were originally kicked out of the land, and God treated them no differently.

25 And when they had withdrawn from him (for they left him severely wounded), his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and killed 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 These are the ones who conspired against him: Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess.

  1. In a bit of more irony, the very king that was protected from assassination as a boy was himself assassinated once he turned against the family who had protected him.

27 Now concerning his sons, and the many oracles about him, and the repairing of the house of God, indeed they are written in the annals of the book of the kings. Then Amaziah his son reigned in his place.

Conclusion:

Joash started out so very well, but he didn’t finish that way.  We need to finish the race we have begun.  Not relying on past confessions – not relying on someone else’s faith – we need to rely on Christ right now.  We need to keep on abiding in Christ right now.

So Christian, draw near to God – abide in Christ – finish the race you have begun through the power of the Holy Spirit.   Road racers are familiar with the acronym “DNF” – “Did Not Finish.”  There are many reasons someone may DNF…  We don’t want that to happen in our race in Christ!  If you’re in Christ, finish what you’ve started – don’t be one that falls by the wayside.

Again, the good news is that we can trust God’s promises!  What He has begun, He will be faithful to complete to the day of Christ Jesus.  God made a promise to David, and no matter what obstacles the Devil (and Athaliah) put in God’s way, God’s promise to David would not be broken.  The promises we have in God through Christ Jesus are no less sure!

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