8: Joash (Jehoash)

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Lesson 08 — November 19, 2000


2 Kings 11-12; 2 Chronicles 22-24

Background Information:

  • Joash (also known as Jehoash) was the sixth king of Judah. He ruled for 40 years from approximately 835-796 BC. He began as a very good king, but his reign ended tragically.
  • Pious Jehoshaphat was his great-grandfather. The LORD blessed Jehoshaphat, but unfortunately he tried to reunite the divided kingdom through alliances with Ahab and his family.
  • Wicked Jehoram was his grandfather. Jehoram was married to Ahab’s daughter, Athaliah. Together they led Judah into one of its worst periods both religiously and politically. They combined Baal worship and assassination to secure personal power. After just eight years of ruling, however, God struck Jehoram with an incurable intestinal disease from which he died (cf. 2 Chronicles 21:18-19).
  • Wicked Ahaziah was his father. Ahaziah assumed power from his father, Jehoram, but was killed after just one year by Jehu, whom God had appointed to end the reign of Ahab’s family in Israel (cf 2 Chronicles 22:7). Jehu also killed the 42 other "brothers" (perhaps brothers, half-brothers, or even other close relatives and/or friends) of Ahaziah (cf. 2 Kings 10:12-14). This left a power vacuum in Judah for there were no adult male heirs to succeed Ahaziah to the throne.

Athaliah’s Coup d’e tat: 2 Chronicles 22:10-12

  • God warned Cain that "sin" as a wild beast lay at the door and "desired" to have him. He was urged to "rule" over sin, but unfortunately that was not to be the case (cf. Genesis 4:7). One of Cain’s descendants, Lamech, later boasted of his murderous activities. Athaliah followed in their footsteps. Discuss how sin can and does gain control over individuals, their decisions, and their lives. How can we prevent such from happening in our own lives?
  • Discuss how Jehoshabeath served as God’s agent for good. Can you think of other examples where God has used individuals, even unlikely individuals at times, to fulfill His distinct purposes?

The Ascension of Joash to Judah’s Throne : 2 Chronicles 23:1-21

  • Suspense, intrigue, good guys, an evil woman—you have all the elements of a prime time television mini-series. Discuss how after six years God brought everything together to accomplish His purpose of placing Joash on the throne.
  • Discuss Jehoiada’s role as regent to the king. Discuss the nature and importance of strong spiritual leadership among God's people.

Joash’s Repair of the Temple: 2 Chronicles 24:4-14

  • Discuss Joash’s zeal and efforts to restore the temple. While buildings are not of preeminent importance in God’s kingdoms, why is it important to keep God’s house of worship in good repair?

Joash’s Unfortunate End: 2 Chronicles 24:1-3,15-27

  • Analyze and discuss Joash’s spiritual decline. What lessons does this hold for each of us?
  • Notice the justice and judgment of God both upon Joash and the unfaithful leaders of Judah. Discuss the truth of God’s warning in the Conclusion to the Ten Commandments, "God threatens to punish all who do not obey these commandments."