King Joash and King Jotham were at one point rulers over the Southern Kingdom, Judah. They were considered good kings with the exception of a few sinful acts.
Although these two kings reigned in different times, they shared a similar weakness.
II Kings 12:2-3 (AMP)
2Joash did right in the sight of the Lord all his days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 3Yet the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense in the high places.
High place – a temple or altar used by the ancient Semites and built usually on a hill or elevation.
People had the opportunity to worship, sacrifice, and burn incense in altars that were built up in the hills.
King Joash began his reign at the age of seven and had great counsel from the priest, Jehoiada. God allowed Jehoiada to live at an old age to assist Joash in his ruling. When he died, things started to turn bad for this king. He began to pay attention and rule by the political pressures and was turning away from the Lord. Joash was forewarned by a prophet to go back to serving the Lord, but he ignored the warnings.
II Kings 15:34-35 (AMP)
34He did right in the Lord’s sight, according to all his father Uzziah had done.
35Yet the high places were not removed; the people sacrificed and burned incense still on the high places. He built the Upper Gate of the house of the Lord.
II Chronicles 27:2 (AMP)
He did right in the sight of the Lord, to the extent of all that his father Uzziah had done. However, he did not invade the temple of the Lord. But the people still did corruptly.
King Jotham was a great king and ruled well but his worship with the Lord was not strong. Destroying the high places wasn’t a concern for him.
Both of these kings had similar challenges in regards to destroying the high places. They both decided to turn their face away from the Lord and satisfy the needs of the people. Instead of obeying and doing what was right under God’s provision, these kings decided to go their own way.
Similar to the kings, have we done the same in regards to religion and tradition? We listen to people and how a denomination runs and never look in the Bible to confirm its validity. Denominations are manmade and though there are many benefits to being part of a Church family, we have to be careful of the doctrines that are being taught. Are we listening more to man and not going to the Bible for the answers we need?
I Thessalonians 5:21 (AMP)
But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.
Acts 5:29 (AMP)
Then Peter and the apostles replied, We must obey God rather than men.
Are we stuck in the continual rituals of our forefathers because this is all we know? Do we ever question the motive and intent of the rituals? Some of us may say, “Well, this is how it’s always been done;” and we go through another generation of the same cycle.
We are in a very dangerous and manipulating society. Just turn on the TV or the internet and watch for a few minutes the enticements of the world. When the false Messiah rises and is in control, do you think he will show his evil ways? No, he will be the best conniver in the world. He will show all the glories and glitter of this Earth. How will we know the truth?
Joash ruled well until his counselor was gone. Once he died, Joash didn’t know how to take care of his kingdom. He started to listen to the wrong people and even murdered Jehoiada’s son. Do we want to be that confused when we are pushed against the wall and have to defend ourselves with the knowledge we have?
America is the land of the free. But with that, there is a hefty price to pay because the evildoers of the nation will take advantage of this right. We have to know the right and wrong and always validate the truth. We can’t just live by what people say and believe without testing the Word and do our own research. When the false Messiah comes, how will we know it’s him if we haven’t already tested it? Are we going to rely on our family and friends to guide us?
John 8:31-32 (AMP)
31…If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. 32And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.
Let’s prepare ourselves and rely on the only Truth, the Holy Bible; the book of all teachings that we can rely on and the best author of the universe.