2 Chronicles 24:20b - Obedience and Blessings
Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot
prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you. 2
Chr 24:20b (KJV)
The wicked Athaliah has killed her own grandchildren and seized
Judah's throne (chap. 22). But one-year-old Joash was overlooked! Now
six years later, the high priest Jehoiada, with the army providing
security, proclaims Joash king (23:1-11). Athaliah is apprehended and,
loudly shouting "Treason," is led away to be executed (vv. 12-15).
Jehoiada leads a ceremony in which Judah reaffirms its covenant with the
Lord, and cheering mobs tear down the Baal's house (vv. 16-17). Temple
worship is reestablished, and the glad people of the land at last enjoy
peace (vv. 18-21).
Joash develops into a godly ruler and shows his piety by
restoring the temple (24:1-16). But when his mentor, the high priest
Jehoiada, dies, Joash turns to idolatry (vv. 17-18). Prophets sent to turn
the king back to the Lord are ignored. Joash even kills one prophet,
the son of his benefactor, Jehoiada (vv. 19-22). Retribution in the
form of a Syrian invasion follows. Joash is wounded in battle and
then assassinated by his own officials (vv. 23-27). [Victor Bible
Joash was a miracle boy because his evil grandmother Athaliah
had killed all of his siblings, and he alone had survived. The
future of David's line and the messianic promise rested on that little
boy! How often in Jewish history Satan tried to kill those who were a
part of God's plan (Gen. 3:15). The godly high priest, Jehoiada,
protected Joash and then installed him as king. At the same time, Jehoiada
saw to it that Athaliah and her followers were put out of the way.
Through the continued spiritual influence of Jehoiada, the king brought
about many reforms, especially the restoring of the temple. When the
high priest died, however, the king made the same mistake that
Rehoboam made in listening to worldly counsel. Joash ended up killing
Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, instead of heeding his message from the Lord,
Joash is a warning to all who profess to do God's will but
really don't have the love of God in their hearts. If your faith is
"propped up" by someone else, what will you do when the "prop" is gone?
[Wiersbe Expository Outlines]
Borrowed Faith (2 Chron. 23-24)
I was brought up in a Christian home, rich in love and
acceptance. I went to church, lived a moral life, and believed in Jesus. It
wasn't hard to do. After all, I was surrounded by people who believed;
people who in simple, quiet ways, lived their faith.
Yet after two years in the Navy I realized that I had to make
personal decisions of my own. Influenced by the teaching of Donald Grey
Barnhouse, I began to study my Bible. I started and led a noon Bible study
on my base. And I became active in a nearby local church.
I realized that at home I'd been living on borrowed faith. Out
on my own, I learned that I had to develop and nurture a faith of
This is a lesson that the life of Joash teaches as well. Joash
was a good and godly king--as long as he was surrounded by people who
believed, like the priest Jehoiada who raised him. It wasn't hard for him
to live a good life, or even to "believe." But when Jehoiada died,
Joash found that a borrowed faith is never enough.
When Joash began to make decisions on his own, he made wrong
ones. He abandoned the temple of the LORD and worshiped idols. He and
his people refused to listen to the prophets who warned them. Joash
even killed the son of the man who had raised him, when that son
confronted him concerning his sins. Ultimately, because king and people had
forsaken the LORD, disaster came. Joash, who chose evil, was killed in
his bed by officials who conspired against him.
The story of Joash underlines two important truths. First, we
can't tell from a child or young person's early life what his future
will hold. So, while we can rejoice in signs of early spiritual
growth, we can't afford to become complacent. We need to keep on praying
for our children, that as they mature they will develop their own
personal and growing faith in God.
Second, we need to examine our own lives, to make sure we're not
living on borrowed faith. For faith to be real, you and I need to take
responsibility for our own choices--and to make sure that our choices are guided
by a personal commitment to Jesus Christ as LORD. [The 365-Day
God does not force His presence and blessing upon anyone. When
men refuse His guidance the Lord withdraws His Spirit from them, and
then they are left to the mercies of the cruel master whom they have
chosen. [SDA Commentary]
God cannot pour out the blessings of His salvation on an
impenitent people. He cannot open the treasury of His gifts and graces to
those who value the dross of earthly pleasure and profit more than the
infinite value of Heaven's spiritual merchandise. [Teachers Adult SS
Quarterly, 9/17/95, p. 155]
To forsake God (Hebrew 'azab) is to abandon Him in favor of
other priorities.... To forsake God is to ask Him to forsake you, to
call you to account for your sins, to execute judgment upon you.