Pastor James J. Barker

Text: II KINGS 11:1-21; 12:1,2


  1. King Joash began to reign when he was only seven years old (211:21). He is basically considered a good king. During his reign, the temple was repaired and Baal-worship was prohibited.
  2. Joash’s reign began well. He was placed on the throne by his uncle Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada’s wife, Jehosheba, had saved young Joash’s life back when wicked Athaliah, the daughter of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, "destroyed all the seed royal" (11:1-3).
  3. After enduring Athaliah’s tyranny for six years, Jehoiada presented young Joash to the military leaders, informing them that Joash was "the king’s son" (11:4). Joash was the rightful heir to the throne of Judah, being the only son left (Athaliah having murdered the others) of King Ahaziah.
  4. You may recall King Ahaziah was killed by Jehu, the king of Israel. By the way, Athaliah’s murders were Satanically inspired, because Joash was in the lineage of the coming Messiah.
  5. This is all very interesting and very exciting, but let me get to my point. This is the thrust of my message today: II Kings 12:2 says, "And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him."
  6. In other words, as long as Uncle Jehoiada was around to instruct him and guide him, King Joash was fine. But eventually Jehoiada died, being 130 years old. And after he died, Joash messed up. Without the good influence of his uncle Jehoiada, Joash turned his back on God.
  7. My application: there are many teenagers who will do well as long as Bro. Behrens (or some other youth pastor, or your parents, etc.) is around. But how do you behave when these men are not around? And what will you do when they leave?
    1. After the death of Jehoiada, the worldly "princes of Judah" came to visit King Joash (II Chron.24:15-17).
    2. And the Bible says, they "made obeisance to the king" (24:17).
    3. Instead of resisting these worldly friends, "the king hearkened unto them" (24:17). What about your worldly friends? Do you resist them when they try and influence you to do wrong or do you go along with their wicked plans?
    4. George Washington said: "Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad company."
    5. Benjamin Franklin said: "Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing."


    1. Joash yielded to the pressure from his friends and soon he was serving "groves and idols" (24:18).
    2. This brought down the wrath of God (24:18b). God sent His prophets to testify warn them, "but they would not give ear" (24:19).
    3. Jehoiada the priest had a son named Zechariah. He was a faithful man of God, just like his father. The Spirit of God came upon him and he warned the people to repent (24:20).
    4. Please remember that Zechariah’s father, Jehoiada had saved Joash’s life and put him on the throne. Remember that Zechariah and King Joash were cousins. And so how did this backslidden king show his appreciation and gratitude? BY KILLING ZECHARIAH! (cf. 24:21,22).
    5. Our Lord referred to this murder in Matt.23:35. But there he is not called the son of Jehoiada, but the "son of Barachias." There are two possible explanations: Barachias could be another name for Jehoiada. The name means, "Whom the LORD blesses." Or, less likely, Zechariah could have been the son of Barachias and the grandson of Jehoiada. This is common in the Bible.
    6. II Chron.24:25 indicates that Joash also murdered other sons of Jehoiada.


    1. The Bible says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal.6:7).
    2. King Joash began to reap what he sown (24:23-27).
    • His worldly friends were all killed by the Syrians (24:23). I recall some of my worldly friends from high school, killed by drugs, car wrecks, run over by the subway, suicide, etc.
    • Joash’s large army was defeated by a small contingent from Syria (24:24). This was an answer to Zechariah’s prayer (24:22b).
    • Joash was left "in great diseases" (24:25). There are a lot of kids your age that are coming down with great diseases, and it is the judgment of God. There are teenagers with venereal diseases, herpes, and AIDS.
    • King Joash’s own servants conspired to kill him and slew him on his bed (24:25). What a bitter close to a wayward life! He could have been a great king but he turned away from God.
    • King Joash was not given the usual burial of a king with pomp and ceremony, "but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings" (24:25b). Contrast this with the burial of Jehoiada, who was buried with the kings (24:15).


  1. Jehoiada lived to be 130, an unusually long life for that day. In fact he lived longer than anyone on record during the previous thousand years.
  2. Many students of the Bible believe that God kept him alive in order to show his mercy and grace to the people of Judah.
  3. God has shown His mercy and grace to you. That is why you are here today. A couple of weeks ago, a teenager was stabbed to death after a basketball game in Crown Heights.
  4. Other teenagers are throwing up, overdosing on drugs, getting arrested by the police, getting into all sorts of trouble. Some are even sleeping on the street and eating out of garbage pails. Some have lost their minds and are in Creedmore or some other mental hospital.
  5. But you are here today at a church service. Would you still be here if Bro. Behrens was not here? Would you still be in Sunday School? If there was no meeting today, were would you be? What kind of clothes would you be wearing? What kind of music would you be listening to?

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