Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 2 Kings 12:2

Joash was anointed king by Jehoiada when he was only seven years old. Jehoiada helped preserve Joash’s life when he was a baby and he continued to have a godly influence on him. Joash initiated reforms that led to the temple of the Lord being repaired and restored (12:4-5).

However, everything changed when Jehoiada died. Joash now chose to be influenced by ungodly men and when Zechariah, Jehoiada’s son, opposed him, he had him stoned. “King Joash did not remember the kindness Zechariah’s father Jehoiada had shown him but killed his son” (2 Chronicles 24:22).

How appalling that Joash not only forgot his guardian and mentor but also had his son killed. What caused such a reversal in Joash’s behaviour?

Joash only did what was right while Jehoiada was alive. He relied on him for everything, even the choice of his wives (24:3). Did Jehoiada manipulate Joash into making right choices or did Joash never take responsibility for his own decisions?

The Biblical account records that Jehoiada “was buried with the kings in the City of David, because of the good he had done in Israel for God and his temple” (24:16). It seems Joash relied too heavily on Jehoiada and never had a faith of his own. He was easily influenced by his evil officials. After Jehoiada died, Joash bribed the king of Aram with the sacred objects from the temple (2 Kings 12:18).

From such a promising beginning, Joash had a poor end. Reflecting on his life raises the question, are we influenced by godly or ungodly people? Do we rely too heavily on others for spiritual direction? Do we have our own faith?