Joash was seven years old when he began to reign. In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 2 Kings 11:21 – 12:2
Joash was the youngest king in Israel’s history, including the divided kingdoms of Israel (northern) and Judah (south). Throughout the nearly 500 years of ruler ship under kings, there good kings exhibiting greatness, wisdom, heroism, and selflessness, but mostly bad kings marked by treachery, power plays, coups, assassinations, and idol worship. Joash’s story is intriguing. His grandfather Jehoram, king of Judah, dies of diseases, his son Ahaziah takes over as king. Jehoram’s wife Athaliah is the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, king and queen of Israel. This family tie leads to some cooperation between members of the divided kingdom as Jehu who with zeal for the Lord was executing judgment against Ahab’s family also found some of Ahaziah’s sons and relatives and killed them, and was led to Ahaziah himself and killed him, too. Ahaziah’s mother Athaliah sees that her son the king is dead makes a power play and kills the remaining royal family and takes control of Judah. Unbeknownst to Athaliah, her youngest grandson Joash was taken by his aunt during the coup. For the next six years he is hidden and raised by his aunt and uncle, Jehoiada the priest. Behind the scenes Jehoiada works to form coalitions and make covenants to bring Joash back and make a descendant of David king over Judah again. At the young age of seven Joash is made king, and under the guidance of Jehoiada, the people return to the Lord. They tear down the temple of Baal, smashing the altars and idols, killing their priests. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. Jehoiada served the Lord all his life, yet his greatest marks were the influence he had in leading a young boy into manhood in living for the Lord. Will you be a Jehoiada, faithful in serving the Lord, yet having the best still yet to come when you pour your life into a relationship mentoring a young believer? Time will tell.