Lesson 8

Judah: From Jehoram to Joash

(2 Chronicles 21, 23, 24)
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Introduction: How much are you influenced by the attitudes of others? How much do you influence others? What kind of influence do you have? Is it good or bad? This week our study of the Bible turns to a series of kings who seem to be heavily influenced by others. Let's jump in!

  1. King Jehoram and His Family

    1. Read 2 Chronicles 21:1, 6-7. How did the ancestors of Jehoram and his wife affect their lives? (The text suggests that the wickedness of Ahab had an influence on Jehoram because his wife was Ahab's daughter. On the other hand, God seemed to have spared Jehoram up to this time because of his ancestor, King David.)

    2. Read 2 Chronicles 21:12-15. Elijah writes a letter to Jehoram about his sins and his future. What is prophesied to happen to Jehoram's family because of his sins? (His family will suffer a "heavy blow." We find in 2 Chronicles 21:17 that the Philistines took captive Jehoram's wives and sons - all except his youngest son.)

    3. How do our actions directly and indirectly affect the salvation of our children? How about the well-being of our children? (We affect our children both by our influence and by our lifestyle.)

      1. Is this fair?

    4. On this topic, skip ahead several chapters to 2 Chronicles 25:3-4. Read. We are just taking a peek at a King (Amaziah)that we will study next week. What I want you to consider is the statement about punishing children for the sins of their father. How do you reconcile God's judgment on the wives and children of Jehoram, because of his sins, when God seems to have an express policy against this?

      1. Are God's rules contrary to His actions? (I think we can find a consistent rule here. The text from 2 Chronicles 25 refers to death as the punishment for a relative's sins. Death, of course, is final. On the other hand, a family often suffers or is blessed as a result of the positive or negative actions of parents.)

      2. What spiritual lessons do you find in this? (Death here on earth is not final as far as God is concerned. I believe this teaches us that no one can be eternally saved or lost because of the sins of his or her parents. However, parents can have a huge influence on the spiritual and practical lives of their children. This is a sobering consideration for parents.)

    5. Jehoram loses all of his sons, except one. Do you feel sorry for him? In 2 Chronicles 21:2-4 we find that he killed all of his brothers (all of Jehoshaphat's sons). Is this justice?

      1. Have you noticed life is like this? Jehoram kills all the sons of his father, leaving only one (himself), and then he loses all of his sons except one. (I think this is a sobering spiritual principle. See Ecclesiastes 11:1.)

    6. Read 2 Chronicles 21:20. At 40 years of age Jehoram dies of "bowel trouble." It sounds pretty awful. Notice the post-script on his life - "he passed away to no one's regret." The NLT translates it "No one was sorry when he died."

      1. Do you have a boss like this?

      2. A neighbor?

      3. Is it possible that this description might be applied to you? (If so, you need to repent quickly!)

  2. Queen Athaliah

    1. Do you remember last week we learned that King Jehoshaphat started down the wrong path when he arranged to have his son marry a daughter of Ahab and Jezabel? (2 Chronicles 18:1) This daughter was Athaliah, and the son, of course, was Jehoram. We learned at the very beginning of this study that Athaliah was at the center of leading Jehoram into evil. ( 2 Chronicles 21:6) Somehow, Athaliah managed to avoid being captured by the Philistines when they captured the rest of Jehoram's wives. You recall that Jehoram's youngest son, Ahaziah, also escaped capture. (2 Chronicles 21:17). Ahaziah became a miserable King of Judah. His reigned ended after one year, and his wicked mother, Athaliah took over as Queen. She then tried to destroy all the remaining royal family of Judah. (For you doting grandparents, that would be her grandchildren she was killing.) One infant grandson, Joash, survived by being hidden in the temple (apparently church was the last place Athaliah would be. With that background, let's go on with our study.

    2. Read 2 Chronicles 23:1-3. Jehoiada is the priest. What do you think about religious officials being involved in politics? Is it Biblical?

    3. Read 2 Chronicles 23:4-7. Who is at the heart of this revolt against Queen Athaliah? (The priests and Levites!)

      1. What day of the week is this taking place? (It seems it is the Sabbath.)

    4. Read 2 Chronicles 23:8-11. The King James says "God save the King." Guess where the British got this phrase? (Unfortunately, the KJV is a mistranslation - it should be "Long live the King.")

      1. What do you think about overthrowing the government on Sabbath? Does that seem to be a proper activity? Especially for the religious leaders?

    5. The new King Joash has been selected and Queen Athaliah has been killed. Read 2 Chronicles 23:16-17. The nation seems to have taken a strong turn towards the worship of the true God. Does this make revolution on the Sabbath acceptable?

      1. A number of years ago a politically active fellow that I knew asked me to attend the Republican caucus on Sabbath. I told him, "no," I teach my Bible class that day and go to church. He told me that it was appropriate to be involved in political activities on Sabbath because I could help to elect pro-life public officials. Needless to say, I was not a bit convinced. What do you think? Does this little story show me the error of my ways?

  3. Joash and Jehoiada

    1. Read 2 Chronicles 24:1-3. What are the problems connected with having a seven-year old in charge?

      1. Was he really in charge? (No. Jehoiada was in charge.)

      2. What tells us that Jehoiada was in charge? (Instead of v.2 saying Joash did what was right all the days of his life, it says he did what was right all the days of Jehoiada's life. It also mentioned Jehoiada picked out Joash's wives.)

    2. Read 2 Chronicles 24:4-6. Does a time come when Joash takes charge? (It appears that this time did come. However, when it came is not clear. According to 2 Kings 12:4-6, Joash had been King for 23 years when he raised this issue for a second time. He would have been 30 years old then.)

    3. Read 2 Kings 12:6-8. Are the priests improperly handling the money? (It appears they are not using the money to repair the temple.)

      1. What is the King's solution to this problem?

      2. What does it mean when it says (v.8) the priests agreed not to collect any more money and agreed not to repair the temple? Is this a strike? (No. The priests were not doing the job. As a result, they could not collect any more money for repairing the temple. In addition, they had to turn the work over to someone else.)

        1. Is there a lesson in this for us today in dealing with church leaders?

        2. What is the proper solution if church officials are not doing their job?

          1. Should the matter be turned over to people who are competent in that area?

          2. What about the matter of the money? Is there a lesson here about giving money to the church?

    4. Read 2 Kings 12:9-10. What has Jehoiada made? (A collection box. Matthew Henry says they never collected money this way before. He suggests that the novelty of it made it successful.)

      1. How much time has been spent at your church to think of novel ways to promote the gospel and take care of the church?

      2. Notice that both the royal secretary and the high priest counted the money. Is this an important practice for your church? (Yes. It is important to maintain "honest" controls.)

    5. We find that as a result of these reforms the temple was completely repaired.

    6. Read 2 Chronicles 24:15-16. Jehoiada dies at the ripe old age of 130 years. What impact has he had on King Joash? (It appears that he was Joash's mentor. Because of his influence the King and Judah obeyed God. At the same time, after King Joash matured, he was pushing Jehoiada to do the right thing by repairing the temple.)

    7. Read 2 Chronicles 24:17-18. How could the man who insisted on the temple being repaired, turn to the worship of false gods after Jehoiada died? (The key is in verse 17 - Joash listened to the officials. He was easily led.)

    8. Read 2 Chronicles 24:20-22. Who ordered the death of the son of Jehoiada? (Joash--the King who had been saved from death by Jehoiada's wife, who had been placed on the throne through the efforts of Jehoiada, and who had been mentored by Jehoiada. I agree with Zechariah's final words!)

    9. Was Jehoiada a good man? (Yes.)

      1. Did God reward him with a long life because of his faithfulness?

      2. Was Zechariah, Jehoiada's son, a good man? (Yes.)

        1. Did God reward him with a long life because of his faithfulness?

      3. How do you explain this?

    10. 2 Chronicles 24:25 reports that King Joash was severely wounded in battle and that his own officials killed him because he had murdered Zechariah.

      1. Did he get justice?

    11. Friend, the story of King Joash teaches us the importance of not just accepting the good advice of godly advisors, but actually taking "ownership" of that advice. Our influence is important. Will you determine to use it to advance God's work?

  4. Next Week: The Rule of Hezekiah in Judah.

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