As I have spoken about in previous blog posts, I am hosting a women's group every Wednesday night, and we are all reading through the Bible in one year. This week, our reading plan has us in 2 Chronicles, and I have to say I have been blown away by all the little verses I have been reading and seeing lately.
God never ceases to amaze me! I mean, seriously, I used to be bored through the 1st & 2nd Kings and 1st & 2nd Chronicles, but this time, BAM, God is coming in with left and right hooks all over the place! There are so many beautiful messages jammed into these four books with so much history, wisdom, and lessons. These four books are genuinely incredible. I honestly am struggling not to start at the beginning and blog about each and everyone, but one thing I promised myself was I would be true only to blog what the Holy Spirit leads me to blog. Nothing more, nothing less, because He knows best. Period.
So for this week's blog, I feel He is guiding me to talk about King Joash.
'When Athaliah, Ahaziah’s mother, saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to annihilate all the royal heirs of the house of Judah. Jehoshabeath, the king’s daughter, rescued Joash son of Ahaziah from the king’s sons who were being killed and put him and the one who nursed him in a bedroom. Now Jehoshabeath was the daughter of King Jehoram and the wife of the priest Jehoiada. Since she was Ahaziah’s sister, she hid Joash from Athaliah so that she did not kill him. He was hiding with them in God’s temple for six years while Athaliah reigned over the land.' 2 Chronicles 22:10-12
See, King Joash never even stood out to me once the first five times I read about him. Honestly, I blew through many of these kings, not thinking much of them besides King Josiah! (LOVE ME SOME STORIES ON KING JOSIAH! Lol, BUT that's for another blog another day!) However, the verse above struck me this time, and I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to listen up. I knew there was a reason for Joash's protection here. Therefore, skip two chapters ahead to chapter 24, and Joash became King at seven years old after being in hiding from his "crazy" relative. Then the Holy Spirit highlighted this little nugget:
'Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years of Jehoiada the priest. ' 2 Chronicles 24:2
That struck me there. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord ALL THE YEARS OF JEHOIADA THE PRIEST. Well, what about all the other years, I thought? And all it takes is a couple of verses, and you get to the NIV header of "The Wickedness of Joash," and wicked he turned indeed.
Joash's story is a prime example of what happens when we go by secondhand knowledge of our God and do not pursue a personal relationship with Him alone. You see, Joash was relying heavily on the Priest Jehoiada. So he just did what Jehoiada said and never sought his own personal relationship with the Lord. And we can assume he had heard stories about the great King David and his personal relationship with God. So this wouldn't be a foreign concept to him.
Man will always die. We all eventually leave this earth. And when we put our trust in "man" alone, we have nothing when that said person leaves or disappoints us. There is no longer any accountability. And that is why we do not put our hope, advice, direction, ANYTHING in anyone, BUT GOD!
Jehoiada died, and Joash took advice from others that eventually led to him worshiping other idols and even murdering Jehoiada's son, the prophet Zechariah.
Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the Lord ’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the Lord , he has forsaken you.’ ” But they plotted against him, and by order of the king they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the Lord ’s temple. King Joash did not remember the kindness Zechariah’s father Jehoiada had shown him but killed his son, who said as he lay dying, “May the Lord see this and call you to account.” ' 2 Chronicles 24:2,20-22
It truly is a sad story, and I wonder how many of us can relate? How many times do we take the ungodly advice of others before first turning to God for help? How many of us pick up our Bible every day and read His Word so that we can KNOW Him more? Not just to get a "pull scripture" to check off our daily devotional, but to sit and engross ourselves in His Word so we can KNOW THIS JESUS? How many of us realize the difference between knowing who God is and KNOWING God? Because there is a big difference! And we are only fooling ourselves by saying "it's okay" to any of these statements above because it is NOT okay!
I don't know about you, but I do NOT want secondhand knowledge of our one true King anymore. I do not want to be bottle-fed the incredible Word of God. I do NOT want to be a Sunday sermon checklist. I don't want to build my own kingdom of Allie anymore!
I WANT TO KNOW THIS JESUS! I want to KNOW GOD & HIS PROMISED HOLY SPIRIT! I am literally vibrating right now because I want to shout at the top of a mountain to everyone about EVERYTHING He has done in just my little life! Because IF YOU ONLY KNEW what He could do for you, none of this would even be a question anymore! It would be the statements of your life! Because HE IS GOD! HE IS JEHOVAH JIREH. ADONAI EL-ROI! YAHWEH! YESHUA! HE IS HOLY! Magnificent! HE IS INDESCRIBABLE! People, come on! PRAISE HIM WITH ME!
Just hear my heart, please. Get to know our God. Read His Word every single day! Start in Genesis 1:1, and do not stop till you hit Revelation 22:21! JUST READ! And I promise you He will show up! He will show you His Face, but YOU have to ask for it! You have to keep showing up and open your heart to hear Him. His beautiful sweet whispers! Oh my goodness, if you haven't heard His unique sweet voice speak to you yet, you guys let that be motivation enough! Pursue HIM. Don't be like Joash and get secondhand knowledge, and put all your trust into your pastor/priest, friend, mom, dad, siblings, cousins, etc. Yes, mentors of stronger understanding are essential in your life, but THERE IS NO ONE BETTER THAN GOD HIMSELF! Trust me on that one!
He loves you, and He is pursuing you RIGHT NOW as you read these words I write. I am nothing but a vessel for Him, and He types these words to you now: "pursue me, I love you, I am here right now, and I want you to know me, my love. Follow me; I am the only way, truth, and life. I will guide your paths as long as you take my hand and hold on to me. Do not let go, my beloved. I am waiting for you to fix your eyes on me alone; you are mine."
'But now thus says the Lord , he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. ' Isaiah 43:1