Revivals Under The
Good Kings Of Judah
Here is another example of revival. Here also is an appeal to the heart by Archie Naismith. Let us not only pray for revival, but condition ourselves for it.
3. Joash (1)
The reign of King Joash, grandson of Jehoshaphat, followed a period of unprecedented departure from Jehovah in the Southern Kingdom. It was an epoch of restoration and revival that terminated on the death of the high priest whose godly influence and guidance of the young monarch and his subjects brought about renewed allegiance to God and the return of the people to His temple as worshippers. Joash means “Jehovah supports,” and Jehoiada (the name of the high priest) means ‘Jehovah knows.’
Athaliah, the wicked queen-mother controlled the affairs of state as regent for six years after the tragic death of King Ahaziah, her son. In the period that intervened between Jehoshaphat and Joash the Kingdom of Judah harvested the bitter crops of violence, plague and perpetual war that resulted from the seeds of unholy alliance shown by the otherwise godly king, Jehoshaphat. Under the influence of his wife Athaliah, Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, introduced the worship of Baal among the people of Judah and “compelled Judah thereto.” Thus the sensual rites of Baal-worship, with its wild gaiety and licentious orgies, became the religion of the majority of Jehoram’s subjects. Jeoram himself became a fratricide and murdered his six younger brothers. After eight years of signal disasters both at home and abroad, the king died at the age of 40 suffering from incurable intestinal ailments, and so “departed without being desired.” Those calamaties befell the monarch and his subjects in fulfilment of a written prophecy of Elijah the prophet, who had courageously proclaimed the truth of God before Ahab, Jehoram’s wicked father-in-law.
Ahaziah, his youngest and only surviving son and successor, reigned for one year and continued the vices of his father and maternal grandparents under the domination of his mother, Athaliah, who “was his counsellor to do wickedly” (2 Chron. 22:3).
“When Athaliah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah” (2 Chron. 22:10). In acting thus she was the tool of Satan in another of his attempts to prevent the fulfilment of the prophecy of the advent of the Messiah in the tribe of Judah and the royal line of David. She herself was of foreign extraction, half-Israelite and half-Phoenician. Next she consolidated her power in the Southern Kingdom and held complete dominion over Judah for six years. But Satan was again foiled in his schemes by the over-ruling Providence of God, for Joash, one of the king’s sons, was rescued alive from among the slain princes, preserved in the House of the Lord for six years, and acclaimed King before a loyal throng of the priests and people at God’s appointed time. Thus Satan’s plans were frustrated and the triumph of evil and the dominion of Athaliah brought to an end, on the day when “they brought out
The King’s Son
and put on his head the crown and in his hand the Testimony of the Lord” (2 Chron. 23:11).
While we keep in mind that no type or picture can present a perfect correspondence and no parable can provide a complete parallel in every detail, we can follow with interest some of the unmistakable features of this scriptural type. Joash, because of his human relationships, was numbered among the slain. Our Lord Jesus, in taking humanity and becoming man’s kinsman “for the suffering of death,” was actually slain upon the cross for our redemption (Heb. 2:9, 14). Like Joash who was taken from among the dead, Jesus rose in triumph from among the dead, thus defeating Satan’s diabolical plan to deprive mankind of the Divinely-predestined Ruler. Unlike his wicked father, Ahaziah, who was hid in the idolatrous city of Samaria (2 Chron. 22:9), caught there and sent to his death, Joash was, until God’s appointed time, “hid in the house of God” and came out from the House of God to live and reign over His kingdom. Our Lord Jesus has gone into Heaven and is at present “hid in the House of God” as He sits on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
“Though for a time He be hid from the eyes of men,
His people wait to see Him coming forth again.”
It was in the seventh year, the year of Israel’s sabbath, and on a certain sabbath day, that “they brought out the king’s sons,” and he was crowned lord of all the land and anointed with the holy oil (2 Chron. 23:1, 8, 9). When Jesus comes forth as “King of kings and Lord of lords,” He will put down all opposition and bring to a groaning universe its sabbath rest in His Millennial reign of peace and righteousness.
On the head of Joash the crown of monarchy was placed and in his hand the Law of Jehovah, and over him the oil of gladness was poured. Our Lord Jesus, Who has ever kept in His heart the Law of integrity in all its entirety, and made it honourable (Isa. 42:21), will be “anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows” (Ps. 45:7), and be crowned Lord of all when He comes forth to reign. Then will His loyal followers and faithful servants welcome “the King’s Son” with shouts of acclamation and proclaim, “God save the King.”
In Jehoiada the priestly and royal families were united. His wife was the sister of King Ahaziah who, with free access to the royal palace, had rescued her brother’s infant son, Joash, from the sword of Athaliah’s assassins and found him a refuge in the temple chambers. In biding his time until Joash had reached the age of seven years and then producing him when he found the army and the people disgusted and disgruntled by the overbearing tyranny of the queen regent, and well-disposed to a revolution in the government and the restoration of a king belonging to the royal house of David, Jehoiada gave proof of that wisdom and tact that he displayed till the end of his days. He was
The Lord’s Priest.
The high priest is in many ways a complementary type of Him who’ will combine in His glorious Person regal dominion and consecrated priesthood when “He shall bear the glory and shall sit and rule upon His throne and He shall be a priest upon His throne” (Zech. 6:13).
“His the grand eternal weight, His the priestly regal state, Him the Father maketh great, He shall bear the glory.”
Joash began to reign at the tender age of seven, and it was well for him and for the kingdom of Judah that he had in Jehoiada the high priest a mature, discreet and sagacious counsellor to whose godly wisdom and prudence the people of Judah owed not only the restoration of the Davidic dynasty, but also the overthrow of the nefarious foreign usurper, Athaliah. In Jehoiada were embodied the virtues of godly devotion, zealous loyalty and indefatigable energy. Grace and truth characterized all he did. So zealous was he for the honour of God’s House that he was careful to command that the queen mother should not perish within the sacred precincts of the temple but in the Tyropoeon Valley beyond the horse-gate (2 Chron. 23:14, 15). With the overthrow of that monster of evil, the nation once more under the combined rule of king and priest, returned to the Lord. The revival spread as the altars of Baal were broken, the images smashed to pieces, the seats of idolatry demolished, and the priest of Baal put to death. The return to the burnt offerings and sacrifices that Jehovah had ordained for Israel, the cleansing and renovation of the temple, and the restoration of the sacerdotal order, inaugurated an era of joy and peace such as had not been experienced for many years. It required now only the covenant drawn up by Jehoiada and subscribed to by all the people, to give expression to the decision of all Judah, “We will serve the Lord.”