Joash was born about the time his father, Ahaziah, became king of Judah. Ahaziah was a wicked young man who followed in the ways of his father, encouraged by his mother Athaliah, a princess of the Northern Kingdom. Reasonably, we would have expected that Joash would be wicked too, but God had stepped in to change the course of his life.
When Joash was a year old, his father was killed. His mother would have killed Joash, finally delivering Judah to Israel and uniting all of God’s people under a king not of David’s line. But her husband’s sister, Jehosheba, was married to the High Priest. She was a good woman and her husband was a good man. Jehosheba took Joash, hid and raised him within the temple precincts where Joash’s mother would not likely visit. Six years later, the High Priest revealed Joash to be the rightful heir to the throne and in a holy coup – recounted in chapter twenty-four – brought down Athaliah’s government.
Joash was made king, and under the tutelage of his uncle, became one of the great kings of Judah, leading the people in the way of God. His forty year reign was exceeded only by two other men, and was as long as David’s and Solomon’s.
Chapter twenty-four is a testimony to the power of God to work out His way in spite of seeming hopeless odds. Had Athaliah succeeded in killing baby Joash, the house of David would have come to an end. Had Ahaziah lived, his son Joash would never have had the influence of a righteous father figure in his life.