Influence of Leaders and Advisors

Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 24:3-27; 2 Kings 10:32-36; 12:4-21; 13:1-4, 7-11, 14-20

As an infant, Joash was stolen from the palace by his aunt and hidden away from his evil grandmother, Athaliah, who killed all the royal princes so she could take the throne. The prince was raised by his aunt, Jehosheba, and his uncle, Jehoida the priest. Crowned child-king at age seven, Joash ruled the nation of Judah under the priestly influence of his uncle.

As an adult, King Joash ordered the repair and replenishment of the temple. "As long as Jehoiada lived, burnt offerings were presented continually in the temple of the Lord" (2C 24:14). "Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him" (2K 12:2-3; cf. 2C 24:2).

After priest Jehoida died, however, the officials of Judah persuaded King Joash to abandon the temple of the Lord and worship idols. When Jehoida's son, Zechariah, warned him of God's disapproval, Joash "did not remember the kindness Zechariah's father Jehoida had shown him but killed his son" (2C 24:22). Joash himself gave the order to stone Zechariah to death in the courtyard of the temple. The same officials who advised King Joash to abandon God later assassinated the king in his bed.

Meanwhile, the tribes of Israel went through a string of kings who "did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit" (2K 13:2, 11). (This is said of 18 kings in Israel, who "caused" their people to sin.)

This period of Old Testament history underscores the powerful influence that leaders can have. We observe a link between the character of leaders and the moral climate and choices of the people they govern. We also see how important it is that leaders have someone to positively influence them, as the life of Joash so vividly illustrates.

Lord, give us leaders in our churches and in our country who will have the courage and character to do what is right in your eyes. Give our pastor and each of the leaders in our church a trusted friend and mentor who can help keep them strong spiritually and accountable in integrity. Thank you for my friends who encourage me in my faith. I pray that I'll always have a friend who helps me find strength in you. Help me be a friend, wife and mother who will encourage others to follow your ways and discover your love and goodness.