“Keep thy heart more than anything that is guarded; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23 DBY)
Joash was hidden in the house of the LORD for six years from the face of Athaliah so that he would not be destroyed with other royal heirs.
But when Joash was seven years old, Jehoiada, the priest, brought him out, put the crown on him, gave him the Testimony, and anointed him as the King of Judah instead of Athaliah.
Afterward, Jehoiada commanded that the guards kill Athaliah, the wicked usurper. Jehoiada also made a covenant between himself, the people, and the king that they should be God’s people (2 Kings 11:1-21).
Though very young, naïve, and inexperienced, King Joash did what was right in the sight of God all the days of Jehoiada, the priest who counseled, instructed, taught, and guided him in the way of the LORD.
2 Chronicles 24:1-4 – NKJV
1 Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba.
2 Joash did what was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada, the priest.
3 And Jehoiada took two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters.
4 Now it happened after this that Joash set his heart on repairing the house of the LORD.
Unfortunately, today, many political leaders don’t have men like Jehoiada as their counselors or advisers to guide and influence them to do what is right in God’s sight.
The Scripture testifies that in Jehoiada’s days, King Joash listened to him and thus walked in the ways of the LORD and did mighty exploits.
Joash mobilized all the priests, the Levites, and the people of Judah to repair the house of the LORD. At the king’s command, they made a chest and set it outside at the gate of the house of the LORD, and all the people gave willingly and generously towards repairing the house of the LORD.
2 Chronicles 24:10-13 – NKJV
10 Then all the leaders and all the people rejoiced, brought their contributions, and put them into the chest until all had given.
11 So it was, at that time, when the chest was brought to the king’s official by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, that the king’s scribe and the high priest’s officer came and emptied the chest, and took it and returned it to its place. Thus they did day by day and gathered money in abundance.
12 The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who did the work of the service of the house of the LORD; and they hired masons and carpenters to repair the house of the LORD, and also those who worked in iron and bronze to restore the house of the LORD.
13 So the workmen labored, and the work was completed by them; they restored the house of God to its original condition and reinforced it.
However, immediately after the death of Jehoiada, the leaders or princes of Judah came to King Joash to coax and lure him into idolatry, and sadly, he listened to them.
2 Chronicles 24:17-19 – NKJV
17 Now after the death of Jehoiada the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them.
18 Therefore they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass.
19 Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the LORD; and they testified against them, but they would not listen.
Even when God sent Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, the priest, to Joash and the people of Judah, they conspired against him and stoned him to death in the court of the house of the LORD at the command of King Joash.
2 Chronicles 24:20-22 – NKJV
20 Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God: ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He also has forsaken you.'”
21 So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD.
22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son; and as he died, he said, “The LORD look on it, and repay!”
While Joash was listening to Jehoiada, the priest, he was walking in the ways of the LORD. On the contrary, when Joash began to listen to Judah’s evil and idolatrous princes, he became corrupt and idolatrous like them.
The truth is this: who you constantly, continuously, or consistently listen to will eventually mold, determine, control, influence, and shape your motives, thoughts, actions, values, perceptions, passions, and pursuits.
Whomever you give your attention to in life will ultimately give direction to your life!
This is why the Scripture warns and admonishes us to choose our friends carefully.
Proverbs 12:26 – NKJV
26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.
1 Corinthians 15:33-34 – NKJV
33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
Many gullible believers today, like Joash, have been swayed and led astray into doctrines of men and demons, vain worship of saints, spirits or angels, apostasy, heresies, and empty philosophies and traditions of men by listening to false teachers and prophets, carnal and ungodly counselors and philosophers.
Beloved, it is perilous to incline your ears and open your heart to any word, teaching, doctrine, advice, or counsel that does not conform wholly to the word, teaching, or doctrine of Jesus Christ and His early apostles in the New Testament.
King Joash, who once mobilized the people of Judah to repair and restore the house of God to its original condition, forsook the same house of God to serve wooden images and idols when he inclined his ears to listen to ungodly men.
Although Joash started well with God, his end was terrible. He was severely wounded in the battle, and his servants conspired against him and killed him on his bed, and he was not buried in the tombs of the kings (2 Chro. 24:25).
What a sad ending to a good start!
We are now in perilous times when seducing spirits are actively at work in the lives and ministries of many “servants of God,” thereby influencing them to propagate and broadcast false doctrines and destructive heresies (1 Tim. 4:1-3).
Today, many carnal ministers of God are “teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.” (Tit 1:11 NKJV).
Therefore, you must be careful whom you listen to!
You will do well to heed John’s warning.
2 John 1:9-11 – NKJV
9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;
11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
Friend, you need to guard your heart by minding who and what you listen to, lest you end up like Joash, departing from the right path, becoming corrupt, and not finishing the Christian race well.
Choose carefully the books you read, the music and messages you listen to, and even the preacher, teacher, instructor, counselor, or adviser you listen to.
The Bible admonishes you to “Keep thy heart more than anything that is guarded; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Prov. 4:23 DBY).
Prayer: My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to keep my heart with all diligence and to only incline my ears to wholesome words, doctrine, or teaching of Christ, in Jesus’ name. Amen.