What does it say?
Jehoash (also called Joash) becomes one of Judah’s better kings (2Ki 12). The Temple is in need of serious repair and Jehoash devises a new method of collection for the remodel. A fearful payoff of the Syrian enemy toward the end of his reign is the principle blotch on an otherwise stellar record. 2 Chronicles 24 also covers Jehoash of Judah and gives more details regarding the reason the temple is in disarray and how Jehoash addresses the issue and made the necessary repairs.
2 Kings 13 switches back to the northern kingdom and the reign of Jehoahaz. During his 17-year reign Israel falls under the control of Syria due in large part to Jehoahaz’s wickedness. God responds to the cries of Jehoahaz and sends a savior (the word means deliverer) to free them from Syrian domination. Some suggest this savior might be Assyria. Jehoash follows Jehoahaz in Israel. Don’t be confused because some of the names of the kings in Israel and Judah are the same. During his reign there is war with Judah. Shortly before he dies Elisha predicts victory over Syria.
What does it mean?
The contrast continues between the northern and southern kingdoms, one still in the Messianic line and the other locked in decay. Even so, there are wicked kings in both kingdoms and even in the northern kingdom God displays grace and deliverance to those who respond to him in truth.
The story of Judah’s king Jehoash is a great example of the power of discipleship. Jehoash is the last survivor of the Davidic line of kings and is only 7 years old when the wicked queen mother Athaliah is overthrown and he takes the throne. 2 Kings 12:2 gives the reason Jehoash is a good king. From childhood the priest Jehoiada mentors him and teaches him the scriptures. Churches are filled with young children like Jehoash that desperately need mentors. Some are being raised by single parents or have parents that to some degree are irresponsible, especially in terms of spiritual preparation. This story is a reminder of just how transformative positive adult influence can be in a young life.
How will I respond?
The mentoring example in the relationship between the priest Jehoiada and young king Jehoash is convicting and powerful. Will I take a concrete step to be available as a mentor to some degree in young lives? Are there those in my family, my circle of friends, or at work that would look to me for example, wisdom and instruction? Might I take advantage to minister in Sunday school, athletic teams or other natural pathways to invest in young lives?