Can you remember the kings?
Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat.
Next came Jehoram, Ahaziah, Athaliah, Joash, Amaziah and Uzziah.
For all the good he did, Jehoshaphat made a major error: he arranged and approved the marriage of his son Jehoram to the daughter of Israel’s king Ahab – one of the wickedest of the northern kings. She influenced her husband, Jehoram, and her son, Ahaziah, for evil and when both were killed, she determined to totally destroy the house of David – killing even her own grand-children.
She was, however, unsuccessful. Ahaziah’s son Joash was rescued by his aunt and kept safe within the temple precincts for six years. When he ascended to the throne at age seven. Joash’s aunt was married to a priest, and here we see the close connection between the monarchy and the priesthood again. In fact, it is this close association that brought about the ultimate coronation of Joash and a spiritual renewal in Judah. It is also that holy influence which guided seven year king Joash to become, for a time, one of Judah’s better kings. “Influence” is a key theme in this section. The influence of the priests kept Joash headed in the right direction. But when his mentor, Jehoiada, died, the king came under the influence of evil men who ultimately destroyed his monarchy.
Two points are important just here. First, everyone has influences. Be sure you know what they are, and be sure they are holy. Second, all of God’s people should mature to the point they are not so susceptible to bad influence. It was this second, a lack of maturity, that was really Joash’s downfall.