Joash, descendant of King David, became king at seven years of age, and Jehoiada the priest stood by his side, a godly advisor and teacher. Things looked promising when Joash gave orders to restore the temple of the Lord. “And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord”–if only the sentence stopped here, but it continued, “all the days of Jehoiada the priest” (2Chronicles 24:2). By all appearances, Joash was following God’s ways, but that was the problem. It was all appearances. The long life of Jehoiada (130 years) was God’s mercy to Joash and the nation, but when Jehoiada died, so did God’s good counsel, and the king listened to new voices.
Joash’s godliness was borrowed godliness, he had neglected to develop his own, so he was only as good as those who surrounded him. “Now after the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them. And they abandoned the house of the Lord” (2Chronicles 24:17-18).
Heavenly Father, create in me a clean heart and make it strong. Test me, discipline me, and develop in me a passion for You that I may stay focused and stand firm. You are my rock, my fortress, my salvation, and the final source of all that is good. You will be my strength, and I will delight in You so deeply that the fancies of this world will lose their power to tempt. I know, God, that I am weak; therefore, my strength comes from You.
It is good for me to be around people pursuing godliness. May I set my heart and mind on Your thoughts and Your ways and surround myself with the good and godly. But even better is when it is good for people pursuing godliness to be around me. May my love grow deep and strong, that I might stand for You and with You no matter what comes.