2 Chronicles 23:16-21 New Start
Jehoiada is Joash’s constant advisor. The first step the two take is to establish a new start for Judah. A new covenant with the Lord involving the people, the king and himself.
Joash is too young to rule alone. He will require guidance, as ANY wise king would seek. But Joash’s age brings an even greater need for this. Jehoiada is perfectly suited for this role. He raised him up from infancy. He taught him all the law of the Lord. He schooled him in all the issues of the kingdom. He acted as father and mentor to Joash all his life.
I’m certain Jehoiada discussed this first task of new leadership of Judah with Joash. That task is to reaffirm Judah’s relationship with the Lord. And to reestablish the rightful place of David’s descendant on the throne.
Too long has Baal worship existed in the city where the Lord put His name forever. Too long have the people’s hearts been wandering back and forth. It is TIME to make a decision. “Choose this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15b).
Jehoiada puts a question to the assembly. It is a question of life or death in more ways than one; spiritually and physically. The followers of Athaliah are no more. ANY who would choose to follow her will; right into death. The spiritual choice is between Baal and God. Those loyal to Athaliah would stay loyal to Baal. NOW was the time to make this dividing line apparent to ALL. It’s time to remove Baal and reaffirm the commitment of the people to the Lord their God.
This commitment also required that the people accept Joash as the rightful ruler of Judah; a descendant of David. I have no doubt that Jehoiada presented the people with such evidence when the time came. He was Joash’s uncle by marriage and knew of his disposition from the first day of Athaliah’s attack on the royal family.
A new covenant needed to be established between the people and their king. This covenant would also bind the people once more to their God; the God who saved Israel from the hand of all her enemies. The God of David; rightful ruler of Judah.
All committed as one to this new covenant! Their king committed to lead them in the ways of the Lord and to commit himself to that same God. The people committed to follow the Lord and their king. Jehoiada committed to advise the king in the will of the Lord for himself and the nation. And God reaffirmed His commitment to the nation who followed Him.
I don’t know if God answered in fire or in peals of thunder this time. But the people KNEW in their hearts that His promises to be with them when they were walking in His ways STILL held true, even after years of absence from the Lord for a time.
The final task of the day was to have Joash take his father’s seat on the throne. I don’t know if this is the same throne that Solomon built or if another stands in its place. But can you picture Joash, the little boy of seven years old, sitting on the oversized chair? His feet may not have reached the ground but his heart reached Heaven.
Thinking of this scene reminds me of the celebration of life I recently attended for my aunt. She was a TRUE child evangelist in that she was preaching and teaching the word of God since the age of FOUR. God can use a child to do mighty things in this world!
Settling into the oversized throne would be only the first of the many things Joash would have to ‘grow into’ as the king. Fortunately he wouldn’t have to do ANY of them alone. As my aunt’s mother was there to help her, Jehoiada was there for Joash.
Father God, thank You for the people You put into my life. Those that held me up as I learned to walk with You. Those who encouraged me to dig deeper into Your word and our relationship. Those who modeled a life built around You. And those who showed me that failure is not the end of me, or Your love.
My mind keeps wandering back to that little boy stepping into that giant role. Was he nervous? Did he snuggle into the covers of his father’s bed with ease or trepidation? Were his dreams sweet that night? Did he long to go back to the bed he had known in the Temple? And, now that the secret of his existence was out, did he feel safe? Did Jehoiada sing him to sleep that first night? Maybe You will share these answers with me someday in Heaven. That little boy would grow into a mighty king for You.