“In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba. Jehoash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him” (2 Kings 12:1-2).
As the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah depart further and further from God, a new king, Jehoash begins his reign in Judah. His grandmother Athaliah had reigned the 6 previous years after she had taken the throne by having all of Jehoash’s brothers murdered. She murdered her own grandchildren! Fortunately, Jehoash’s aunt, Jehosheba, had taken Jehoash and had temporarily hid him in the bedroom and then for 6 years in the house of the Lord while Athaliah reigned (2 Kings 11:1-3). In the final year of Athaliah’s reign, the priest Jehoiada makes a covenant with some of the captains to protect Jehoash and brings Jehoash out and crowns him king of Judah (2 Kings 11:4-12). Jehoiada then has the captains and officers to kill Athaliah (2 Kings 11:13-16). At the young, impressionable age of 7 Jehoash begins his reign (2 Kings 11:31).
Fortunately, young Jehoash has a man in his life who will exercise some godly influence and guidance upon him as he takes hold of the reigns to lead this nation. The man’s name was Jehoiada. Not only did Jehoiada help Jehoash to become king by working with the leaders of the army to overthrow Athaliah, but Jehoiada helped to turn the people of Judah back to God. “Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord, the king, and the people, that they should be the Lord's people, and also between the king and the people” (2 Kings 11:17). Jehoiada also led the people to destroy the temple of the false god Baal (2 Kings 11:18) and worked with the king and the people to raise money and repair the house of the Lord (2 Kings 12:4-14).
As the opening verses above indicate, king Jehoash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him (2 Kings 12:2). Later, Jehoash would go astray when, instead of trusting in God, he feared the king of Syria and paid him off so he would not attack Jerusalem (2 Kings 12:17-18).
When I consider the great work Jehoiada performed for Jehoash, I am reminded how blessed I have been to have spiritual mentors in my life who have instructed me and encouraged me on my journey with God. I think about faithful gospel preachers and Bible class teachers who have helped me to understand the Scriptures and make applications of them to my life. I think about elders who have shepherded me as they “watched out for my soul” (Hebrews 13:17). It is a blessing to have godly men and women in my life whose “faith I can follow” (Hebrews 13:7).
Have I taken time to thank those who have been spiritual mentors to me? Today, I will rejoice that I have examples not only in the Bible of those whose faith I can follow but living examples of godly men and women around me who seek to instruct me not only in what they teach to me, but in how they live before me! I also will strive to live in such a way as to encourage others in the faith!
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).