“Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.”
2 Chronicles 24:2
Judah’s King Joash is a remarkable character in Scriptures. After his grandmother tried to have him killed, he survived, being protected by a priest named Jehoiada. Joash became king at age 7 because he was the last remaining royal descendant. Jehoiada reared him in the Temple, protecting him from further attacks.
Once Joash was old enough to take over fully as king, he saw to the destruction of idols and false gods in his country. He is best remembered today for his efforts to repair and rebuild the Temple after years of attacks and disregard. He was taught well and he served well for many years.
Once his mentor Jehoiada died however, King Joash changed dramatically. He suddenly began to worship the idols he once had destroyed. He refused to listen to warnings given by a prophet God sent to him. King Joash even had Jehoiada’s son murdered for his efforts to call Joash to repentance.
This story of a promising start followed by a sad end should get the attention of every parent of a Christian school student. We want our children to grow up loving and serving the one and true God. What could cause someone like King Joash—or one of our own children—to change so dramatically?
It seems from Scripture that Joash was so busy serving the Lord that he never really got to know Him. Oswald Chambers wrote in My Utmost for His Highest, “Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ. . . . The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him.”
We need to be sure our children are not simply being busy in service for the Lord, but that they are daily learning to love Him more. Our children should indeed be involved in ministries in our local churches, and they certainly must be faithful in attending. We parents must note carefully, however, that none of these things will guarantee that they will continue loving our Lord once they leave home.
Our primary purpose in life is not to do something for Christ but to know and love Him. Let’s continue passing along our Christian heritage to the new generation!