“Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, began to rule over Israel in the fifteenth year of King Amaziah’s reign in Judah. Jeroboam reigned in Samaria forty-one years. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight…Jeroboam II recovered the territories of Israel between Lebo-hamath and the Dead Sea, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had promised through Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath-hepher. For the Lord saw the bitter suffering of everyone in Israel, and that there was no one in Israel, slave or free, to help them. And because the Lord had not said he would blot out the name of Israel completely, he used Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, to save them.” (Kings 14:23-27, NLT).
Jeroboam II ruled over the northern kingdom of Israel from 793 – 753 BC. He perpetuated the apostate religion established by Jeroboam I, the first king of Israel.
“You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7, NLT).
We know from explanations later in this letter to the Galatians that some were teaching that Gentile Christians had to follow the Mosaic law.
“The Lord will indeed vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants when He sees that their strength is gone” (Deuteronomy 32:36, HCSB).
Deuteronomy 32 is called the Song of Moses. It is a song that was intended to warn Israel through the ages of the consequences of apostasy and disobedience to God.
“For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first” (2 Peter 2:19-20, ESV).
Peter speaks here of false teachers who “bring in destructive heresies” (II Peter 2:1) and the people they lead astray with these detrimental teachings. If you succumb to these false teachings or their teacher, then you are a slave to whatever is controlling you.
“And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest” (vs. 2). The story of Joash, king of Judah, is an object lesson we all need to take to heart. When Joash’s father, the king, died prematurely, his father’s mother usurped the throne. She had all of the royal family killed, but Joash, the infant heir to the throne, was concealed in the temple for six years by his aunt and uncle, Jehoida, the high priest. Jehoida led a coup to restore the throne to the house of David and install the rightful heir, Joash, as king. In the first part of Joash’s reign while Jehoida was alive, Joash was devoted to the restoration of the temple and adherence to God’s law. After Jehoida, the high priest, died Joash succumbed to the evil counsel of certain leaders in Judah who identified with the evil ways of Ahab, the former king of Israel and so Joash established idolatrous practices in Judah. Joash even commanded that the prophet Zechariah, who was the son of Jehoida, be put to death because he spoke against the king. In a battle with the Syrians Joash was severely wounded and brought to Jerusalem where he was killed by his own officials in revenge for Zechariah’s death. King Joash’s faith was dependent upon Jehoida and once Jehoida was gone, so was Joash’s faith. Furthermore, Joash listened to bad advice from the wrong spiritual advisors. Joash couldn’t handle dissent–everyone around him had to agree with him. The lessons we can learn from Joash are to always guard your faith; don’t let your faith be based on the faith of someone else; be careful who you listen to for spiritual advice and then be careful of the spiritual advice that others give; and don’t dissociate yourself from those who disagree with you because God may be using them to reprove and discipline you! Your faith requires continual maintenance–is it time for tune-up?