Day 32

King Joash’s Apostasy

2 Chronicles 23:1-21, 2 Chronicles 24:1-27, Psalm 2:10-12

BY Seana Scott

In David Lishman’s article,  “Only God is Great,” he writes that in 1715, France’s Louis XIV died.  Louis, who had named himself the “Sun King,” wanted others to dramatize his greatness upon his death. So he wrote orders for the cathedral to be dimly lit. The only light would be a candle over the coffin. 

On the day of his funeral, he was laid in an awe-inspiring cathedral with his corpse encased in a golden casket. His body, cold. His breath, empty. Thousands were in attendance, and they awaited Bishop Massilon’s speech. To begin, the bishop slowly reached down, snuffed out the candle, and said, “Only God is great!”

Indeed, only God is great. But sometimes, like King Louis, we want to feel great ourselves. I wonder how different Israel’s history might have been if Joash, king of Israel, had kept God’s greatness in view—instead of succumbing to those who lauded King Joash’s greatness (2 Chronicles 24:1–18). 

It’s mind-boggling how a ruler could swing to such extremes. He was the baby rescued from the tip of the sword, a king in the line of David—just as God promised (2Samuel 7:16). He was practically raised by a Levitical priest, Jehoiada, and led the restoration of God’s temple. He was a God-worshiping king.

But then pride and flattery turned him into a prophet-killer. As soon as the priest, Jehoiada, died, wicked men laid a lure for the king. They paid homage to him. We can imagine what they might have said or given the king as gifts—was it camels? Gold? Oils, perhaps? Did they tell him how wonderful he was and how he needed to make his own rather than follow God’s law? Whatever they said, it enticed King Joash to abandon everything: God’s temple, God’s priests, and God’s law (2Chronicles 24:18). King Joash became an idol worshiper. 

But before we throw the king under the chariot, we might think about our own hearts. Are we just an homage away from turning our backs on living for God? Do we depend on social media likes or job promotions to validate our worth? Some days the number of times I check social media, compared to the number of times I pray, shows where my heart pays homage.

Not only does our loyalty to God affect our own hearts, but how we live for God—or not—impacts others. My dad used to say, “If you love someone, you take care of yourself.” Because what we do affects all those around us. In Joash’s case, His faithfulness at the beginning of His reign blessed Israel, but then his unfaithfulness brought trouble.  

Post Comments (42)

42 thoughts on "King Joash’s Apostasy"

  1. Alexis Adams says:


  2. Terri Baldwin says:

    Pride took over Joash and he succumbed to his greatness verses God’s greatness.

  3. Anne S says:

    Just a note to help avoid confusion: Joash was the king of Judah, not the king of Israel.
    This day’s reading was certainly a challenge to us to be sure we are pointing those we are leading to God and His principles.

  4. Claire B says:

    Victoria E, so many parents feel your stress. I still remember taking my daughter and when she took my grandsons. It is so hard. Prayers for your peace.

  5. Claire B says:


  6. Victoria E says:

    Rebecca W- praying for your son’s interview. Sarah D praying for your job situation as well. Searching, praying for your travel today. Sisters if I could ask for prayer for me and my family- I have been really anxious thinking about sending our 1 year old to daycare in May- both for him and for us! Please pray that God will protect him from the worst illnesses that are there and that he will thrive there and not have to miss too many days. Please pray for my peace of mind as we approach this transition for him. Thank you !

  7. Cee Gee says:

    DOROTHY, excited and anxious, right?! Prayers for baby George, mom, and dad, and for you, too. Healing prayers for mom and George!

  8. Jeanie Mclellan says:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *