Joash did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight throughout the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest. (II Chronicles 24:2 NLT)
The affects of having just an outward religion can be devastating. Joash became king when he was seven years old and he had Jehoiada the priest at his side as his mentor and confidant. Jehoiada was a righteous man and taught young Joash many good things but the king’s faith turned out to be only skin deep.
A chameleon is a lizard that whose color changes with its habitat. Joash accomplished many good things as long as he was under Jedoiada’s tutelage. Jehoiada died as all flesh does and Joash came under the influence of other counselors. They flattered him and told him what he wanted to hear and his spiritual life took a one hundred and eighty degree redirection. Joash’s moral compass was based in what man thought and not God. When the winds of change came, as they always do, they were easily able to blow Joash off his righteous path.
What can we learn from the life of Joash? First, true religion comes from the inside out, and not the outside in. It is all about a heart change. Second, it is possible to do many right things with all the wrong motivations. Joash obviously tried to please those closest around him. When it was Jehoiada, it brought good actions. With his later counselors, it brought very bad ones. The problem was that neither the good nor the bad came from the right motivation, seeking to please God more than man. A spiritual chameleon is always ripe for apostasy and devastation. The solution is to …fear God, honor the king (I Peter 2:17 NASB), in that order.
Ken Barnes, the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing Email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/