Day 170: Joash's Downfall

2 Kings 1-25 This book continues the chronology of the history of Judah and Israel from 1 Kings. Most of the succeeding kings struggled with idolatry and found themselves in opposition to neighboring nations and even with the fellow tribes of Israel themselves.


Ch 1:1-18 Ahaziah, King of Israel, was punished because he consulted pagan prophets instead of an authentic prophet chosen by God. The consumption of the soldiers by fire from Heaven is referred obliquely in the Gospels when James and John, the sons of Zebedee, asked Christ if they should call “fire down from heaven” to destroy the Samaritans who had refused to receive Christ and his disciples (cf. Lk 9:54).


2 Chronicles 24:1-26 When Joash began to exercise his kingly authority upon reaching adulthood, he proved to be a faithful king who undertook a major restoration of the Temple. As was common to many kings of Judah, he turned away from the Lord later in life and slipped into idolatry.


Psalm 69 Figuratively drowning and possibly nearing death, the psalmist pleaded with God for help against overwhelming opposition. He professed his innocence and wanted justice.


Zeal for your house has consumed me: The disciples of Christ brought this verse to mind and applied it to him as he drove the vendors out of the Temple courts (cf. Jn 2:17); this dramatic display revealed Christ’s deep love for the Temple as a house of prayer.


You know my reproach...to drink: Verses 19-21 were fulfilled in the Passion of Christ as he was abandoned, treated shamefully, insulted, and given bitter wine and gall to drink while on the Cross (cf. Mt 26:40-41; Jn 16:32; Mt 27:34-48). (CCC 584)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)



  • So Psalm 69 is a great PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE FROM PERSECUTION

  • There is a depth there

  • There is also a FORESHADOWING OF JESUS

  • Verse 21: “They gave me gall for food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

  • This is quoted in the Gospels when Jesus is on the Cross

  • C.S. Lewis wrote a book called “Reflection on the Psalms”

  • It’s a great book

  • All C.S. Lewis’ books are Fr. Mike’s favorite

  • He asks the question, “How do we understand the Psalmist who says, ‘The best thing I want is I want to see my enemies suffer in front of me?’”

  • “Let me see them suffer”

  • “I just don’t want to know that they suffer”

  • “I want to be able to take comfort in that”

  • So how are we supposed to understand this?

  • One is from the SPIRITUAL SENSE when we talk about all the enemies of our SOUL

  • Not just ANY ONE PERSON

  • But as St. Paul says, “Our battle is not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers.”

  • We recognize there is a specific way of understanding Scripture and that is the SPIRITUAL SENSE

  • In that SPIRITUAL SENSE we see that the ENEMIES don’t necessarily have to be the enemies of David, or the enemies of a country, or a specific person

  • BUT THE ENEMY

  • The Principalities and Powers are the DARK FORCES that come against us

  • Satan and other demons

  • In Psalm 69 we pray for deliverance so fully that we are so fully fought for, we can see justice happening, we can see them being punished for all that they put us through

  • There is also the element that Psalm 69 is an honest prayer of a person that comes before God

  • We might not like his honest prayer

  • We might think that he should be more PATIENT

  • We might think that he should be more MERCIFUL

  • We might think that he should be more LOVING

  • We might think that he should be more CARING

  • WITH HIS ENEMIES

  • AND YET…

  • It is an HONEST prayer

  • It teaches us that our prayer, not only can be, but MUST be HONEST as well

  • 2 Kings Ch 1 and 2 Chronicles Ch 24

  • 2 Kings we have Elijah, the prophet to the north

  • Ahaziah is the king after Ahab

  • He falls out a window and inquires of Baalzebub, a false god of Ekron

  • The name BAALZEBUB should sound relatively familiar

  • In the New Testament there are some comparisons that some enemies of Jesus say that he drives out demons by the power of the prince of demons, by BEELZEBUB

  • Maybe this is the same?

  • Similar name, similar reference

  • Elijah is basically saying, “I know you are turning to this particular false god to know your future. Because of that, you are going to die in this unfaithfulness.”

  • Ahaziah does die, in fact

  • His successor, since he doesn’t have any children, is JEHORAM his brother

  • Jehoram becomes king of Israel in the NORTHERN KINGDOM

  • Jehoram, Ahaziah’s BROTHER, became King of Israel when Jehoram, Jehoshaphat’s SON, was king of Judah

  • Two Kings named Jehoram (Oh wonderful, I was thinking this book needs to be even MORE confusing than it already is 😉)

  • King Jehoram of Israel (aka Ahaziah’s BROTHER)

  • King Jehoram of Judah (aka Jehoshaphat’s SON)

  • So in 2 Chronicles Ch 24 we are in Judah

  • We have Joash, Athaliah’s grandson, who was spirited away when he was a baby (did Father Mike make an allusion to Bebe’s Kids?? 🤔) to avoid getting murdered

  • Joash was made king when he was 7 years old

  • He had a priest named Jehoiada, who was a good priest and a good leader

  • As long as Jehoiada was around, things were GOOD

  • Joash was GOOD

  • It’s so GOOD

  • There is something really really beautiful about this

  • Joash says they will take up a collection

  • Remember under Moses, there were Levitical tax for the Temple to keep honoring and worshiping the Lord God

  • That tax had fallen by the wayside

  • So Joash reinstates Temple Worship and the tax in order to keep Worship in the Temple

  • People are resistant to the tax but Joash doesn’t concede

  • BUT…

  • When Jehoiada dies, Joash TURNS INTO A BAD KING

  • It’s REMARKABLE how important having those mentors in our lives is

  • When Jehoiada was around, Joash was a STRONG AND GOOD KING

  • But the moment Jehoiada, his mentor and priest who was his conscience who could instruct him and direct him and be the guardrails for him was gone, Joash, for whatever reason, either didn’t know how to be a good king or didn’t know how to be a faithful follower of God

  • He dies an EVIL KING

  • He dies a king who is murdered by his own subjects

  • When Jehoiada died, his son Zechariah tried to call Joash BACK TO FAITHFULNESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS

  • Because of that, Joash had Zechariah STONED TO DEATH IN THE TEMPLE AREA

  • These people who are placed in LEADERSHIP where they are called to LEAD PEOPLE TO THE LORD

  • AND THEY DO IT

  • But for whatever reason, they then STOP DOING IT

  • They lead people ASTRAY

  • That’s a reminder for us that Joash could have died as a hero

  • He could have died as one of those kings who went down in history as a king who was faithful, who led the people into righteousness, success, holiness, and blessing

  • BUT HE ISN’T

  • He dies a VILLAIN in his own story

  • That could be any one of us

  • That could be every one of us

  • We all have the potential in our lives that without that mentor who can speak truth into our lives, we can go off the rails

  • Without those guardrails, we can go off the cliff

  • Who is that Jehoiada in your life that can speak truth to you?

  • Who is that Jehoiada in your life that can say, “Hey, you’re going the wrong way. Come back to faithfulness. Come back to the Lord.”

  • If you don’t have one, PRAY FOR ONE

  • It could be ANY ONE OF US who go off the rails

  • We need a Jehoiada in our life

  • Someone who can call us back when we are UNFAITHFUL

  • Someone who can call us back to RIGHTEOUSNESS

  • Someone who can call us back to GOD’S MERCY

  • Someone who can call us back to TRUTH

  • PRAY FOR EACH OTHER

  • Because we NEED God’s Grace to say YES to that

  • We can have people speaking TRUTH into our lives all day and night

  • But unless God’s Grace is there to convert our hearts and minds, we can HARDEN our hearts and we can HARDEN our minds

  • Fr. Mike is praying for you that those people who speak TRUTH into your lives that they speak a LIVELY WORD, a word that actually CHANGES HEARTS

  • Pray for Fr. Mike that the people who speak TRUTH into his life encounter a heart that is READY TO BE CONVERTED, a heart that is READY TO BE SURRENDERED TO THE LORD

  • PRAY FOR EACH OTHER

  • PRAY FOR FR. MIKE


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we give you praise and we thank you. We thank you for your faithfulness, your faithful love, and the fact that, Lord, in your compassion you do not hide your face from us. There are so many times when in the midst of distress, in the midst of our brokenness, in the midst of failure on our part, you remain present even when we cannot see you or feel you, we declare with faith that you are still there. Even when you are hidden, you are active. Even when we cannot see you, you are still present. And so we praise your name. We glorify you. We say Lord continue to be present. Continue to help us to cling to you when all else has failed and when everyone else has failed us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”