August 15

2 Chronicles 24:17-18 17After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and he listened to them. 18They abandoned the temple of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols. Because of their guilt, God's anger came upon Judah and Jerusalem.

Jehoiada the priest was a very positive influence on Joash and upon the nation of Judah. God's grace allowed him to live to be 130 years old. Once he died, the officials of Judah began to exert their influence upon Joash. Instead of influencing the world around them with their faith in Jehovah, they wanted to be like the world and worship gods of those nations. Joash was so influenced by them that the temple of God, that he had insisted be repaired, fell into disuse.

God sent prophets to warn the people that they would not prosper if they continued down this path. Today, in our culture, we need to be the voice that warns that our nation will not prosper if we continue our current trend of forsaking the worship of the true God. One of the voices that spoke out was Jehoiada's own son, Zechariah. He warned that if they forsook God, He would forsake them. The officials convinced the king to have him put to death. This was the son of the man who had saved him and set him up as king. He signed the order and Zechariah was stoned in the Temple courtyard. When the voices of truth are silenced so that the people can go their own way without God, judgment is at hand. The next spring, the army of Aram came and killed all the officials who had such an evil influence and took the treasures of the city to Damascus. Joash lay wounded in his bed. His court servants assassinated him in revenge of the death of Zechariah. What a great beginning, but what a sad end! We are tempted not to speak out for fear of facing Zechariah's fate. The alternative is to face the fate of Joash.

Consider: Life is fatal. We will all give an account of our life before God. Better to try to call those you influence to God, in hopes of repentance, rather than to be silent and die when God judges the land.