This chapter contains the history of Jehoash's reign and death. He governed well during the life of Jehoiada, but after was led away from his uprightness. His death was induced by the treachery of his servants.
2 Kings 12:1
Whether the reign of Jehoash is reckoned from the seventh year of his life, when Jehoiada brought him forth to the people and anointed him king, is not said, but seems likely. And if so, he died in the prime of life, at the age of 47.
The approbation of the Lord to his conduct, must be considered comparatively, for as idolatry was not totally abolished, this could not be pleasing to the Lord. How delightful is the account given in this indirect way concerning Jehoiada, whose influence was so beneficial to the king. Oh! how gracious is it in the Lord, when he giveth the experience and wisdom of age to guide youth!
If the Reader will consult the parallel history, as it relates to Jehoash, (2Ch 24) he will discover several things connected with it, which are here omitted. For brevity's sake I refer therefore to the chapter itself, without enlarging upon it. The injuries the temple had received may well be accounted for, when we consider, since the days of Solomon, what idolatries had crept in among the people. No doubt the house of God was sadly neglected. Reader! how precious is the thought that Jesus is our temple, concerning whom there can be nothing ruinous. Lord Jesus! do thou bless and keep the church, which is thy body, the fulness of him which filleth all in all. Ephesians 1:22-23.
Let the Reader recollect how the Lord had been gradually preparing the minds of his people for the desolation of Jerusalem, which had been long threatened. Hence Israel's kings are dispirited. Guilt breeds fear. While Israel loved the Lord, and feared the Lord, no enemy could dare insult the Lord's people. But now enemies arise from every quarter. How strikingly was that scripture fulfilled; Deuteronomy 28:15, etc.
Here is but little account of Jehoash. How very different was the close of his life, to the promising appearance of it when crowned king. The Reader cannot but have remarked how his name is altered in the several parts of his history. His name was Joash originally. But at the coronation, and in the beginning of his reign he is called Jehoash. And in the close again it is, Joash. Perhaps the very honorable distinction prefixed to Joash, of the Je, was intended as a mark of the Lord's favor. And as the termination of his life was dishonorable, particularly so in his conduct towards a prophet of the Lord, in the person of a son of his benefactor, Jehoiada; (see 2 Chronicles 24:17-25.) this prefixed honor to his name was taken from him. We have a similar instance; Jeremiah 22:24; Jer_22:28.
READER I would wish for myself, and, if the Lord pleases, may he graciously make it profitable to you also, in the review of this character of Joash, to consider what instructions we may gather from it considered with an eye to gospel times, and to the blessed redemption believers have in the Lord Jesus. When we see what a sad conclusion the life of Joash had, to so promising a beginning, it ought to induce inquiry into the circumstances of spiritual declensions, and the sad cause why it is that some who seemingly set out fair for the kingdom, flag and tire by the way. The apostle Paul, as the penman of the Holy Ghost, hath plainly assigned the reason in his third chapter to the Church of the Galatians; where he calls them foolish Galatians, because having begun in the Spirit, they afterwards thought to he made perfect by the flesh. When souls shift the foundation of their faith and hope, and leave their first love, leave Jesus, and seek a partial justification before God in their own works, they soon find leanness in their souls. Reader! I charge it upon you, if you know anything of Christ, desire to know nothing but Christ. Make him what he really is, the Alpha and Omega of your salvation; the Finisher as well as the Author of it; and you will do well. Did you not renounce everything of your own, and what was in yourself, when you first came to Jesus, and would you now take somewhat of your own to purchase Christ? Did Jesus give life to your soul at the first, when by his Spirit he quickened you; and must he not give life still? Having begun (saith the apostle) in the Spirit are you so foolish as to seek to be made perfect in the flesh? Oh! thou blessed, blessed Source of all our hopes and joys; thou precious Jesus, be thou all in all to the souls of thy people! Here, Lord, I beg once for all totally to renounce myself, and as I first came to thee guilty, poor, and wretched; so, Lord, I would come still. Blessed be thy name, for that thou hast taught me to know the plague of my own heart, and to see and he convinced that in myself, after all thou hast bestowed upon me, I am no more worthy now, than when thou didst pass by and beheld me in my blood, and bid me live. Yes! dearest Lord, I desire to lie low in the dust before thee in token of my nothingness and unworthiness, while hanging upon thee the full assurance of my salvation. And, Lord, let it be my daily desire to exercise every act of faith upon thee, to undertake nothing but in thy strength, and to seek acceptance only in thy blood and righteousness. And oh! may I know thee with increasing joy under that blessed character whereby thou art revealed to thy people, as the Lord our righteousness; being convinced that thou art made of God, to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, that all my glorying may be in the Lord.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany