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  The Great Bible Story #73
Joash the boy king

Jacob Ninan
Elisha sent one of the prophets to anoint Jehu as king of Israel. Jehu was also given the task of destroying the family of Ahab the wicked king. So Jehu went and killed King Joram of Israel, the son of Ahab. He also killed King Ahaziah of Judah who was visiting with Joram at that time. When he went to Jezreel, Queen Jezebel was there, mocking him from the top of the wall. He asked people to throw her down from the wall. When she died, her blood was splattered everywhere and the dogs licked it up just as the prophecy said. Later they could only find her skull and palms. Jehu also killed all the other sons of Ahab.

When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that he was dead, she declared herself queen of Judah, killed all the other heirs, and began to reign. But the sister of Ahaziah took Joash his son and hid him away from Athaliah.

When Joash was seven years old, Jehoiada the priest called the military guards and priests and told them about Joash. On a certain day they declared that Joash was king! When Athaliah heard it, she was furious, but Jehoiada asked the soldiers to put her to death.

King Joash (Jehoash) did well in God's sight as he was instructed by Jehoiada the priest. Along with Jehoiada he made arrangements for people to offer money for the repair of the Temple, and he organised the collection of the money and the payment to the workers. However, when Jehoiada died in his old age, the people began to go back to the idols around them. God sent prophets to warn them, but they did not listen to them.

Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he told them that because they had forsaken God, God had forsaken them too. They got angry with Zechariah for this, and at the word of the king they stoned him to death inside the court of the Temple. Joash forgot the goodness that Jehoiada the father of Zechariah had done to him.

Then the Arameans came against Judah with a small army, but God delivered Judah into their hands even though Judah had a stronger army. The Arameans killed all the officials of Judah and took away the spoil. They left King Joash sick. At this time his own servants conspired against him because of what he had done to Jehoiada, and killed him in his bed.

We wonder how much King Joash knew God personally, because as soon as Jehoiada left, he started backsliding, even though it looked earlier that he had a great future as a king.

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