Lesson Fourteen


To receive this weekly devotional and other content for your spiritual renewal, subscribe to our new Renew Newsletter.

Memory Verse: Psalm 40:8
Further Study:2 Chronicles 17, 18, 20-24; 2 Kings 11, 12; Prophets and Kings, 190-203; 215, 216; The Bible Story, vol. 5, pp. 107-119

My mom loved cats and throughout my childhood and up until just a year or so before she died, my mom had a cat. What you might not know about cats is that if you have more than one, there is an established hierarchy among them. I have no idea how they decide, but there is definitely a “top cat.”

I have no idea how they decide, but there is definitely a “top cat.”

At one point my mom had two cats, Rachel and Pattie. My mother often sat at the end of the couch, next to a wide armrest. Rachel’s favorite spot was that armrest next to my mom. Pattie never showed an interest in the armrest or even being near my mother. Then Rachel died. That very day Pattie was up on the armrest. It was obvious that Pattie’s lack of interest was not of her own choosing—it was simply that Rachel kept her away.

I thought of those two cats when reading the story of Joash, particularly when Jehoiada died. This faithful priest was the king’s wise counselor. He and his wife saved Joash as an infant from being murdered by his grandmother. Together they hid him in the temple until he was able to be crowned king. Jehoiada stood by the king’s side as his guide and protector. Everything for Joash and Judah went well until Jehoiada died.

Everything for Joash and Judah went well until Jehoiada died. 

The absence of the priest left a place beside the king, and it took no time at all for other leaders to come. The Bible says they bowed to the king, and he listened to them. I’m guessing these men weren’t just paying respect but flattering him with words and gifts. Without Jehoiada to keep them away, the young king was charmed and seemed to forget all he was taught.

Charles Spurgeon has an interesting insight into Joash’s “forgetfulness.” He writes: “All that Joash had done was to give his heart to Jehoiada, not to Jehovah. It is very easy to be outwardly religious by giving your heart to your mother, or your father, or your aunt, or your uncle, or some good person who helps you to do what is right. You are doing all this out of love to them, which is at best but a very secondary motive.”*

God requires our hearts. 

God requires our hearts. Godly parents and grandparents are a gift. To attend a Christian school is essential. To regularly attend and participate in Sabbath School and church is of great value. But it isn’t enough. At some point, we cannot be carried by our environment or family. We must claim Jesus for ourselves. We follow Him because we choose Him. We live our lives for Him because we love Him. 

We live our lives for Him because we love Him. 

This important lesson is not only for us as individuals but also for our children. We must provide for them spiritually through home, church, and school. As they grow older, we must continually place the choice before them to choose Jesus for themselves. Not to do it for us, or for their teacher or their pastor, but because on their own, they recognize that Jesus loves them and offers them the gift of salvation and eternal life. It’s the most important work a parent can do.

Let us choose Jesus today and every day. Let us point others to Him. And together we will be renewed.


Digging Deeper 

This story is one with many lessons. Here are others to consider:

  1. One cannot stress the importance of choosing a life partner enough. Jehoshaphat, a good and faithful king, chose to align his house with Ahab’s by marrying his son to Athaliah, a daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. She brought Baal worship into Judah, and almost completely wiped out the line of David. Who one chooses to marry will have lifelong consequences.
  2. Jehosheba was not the daughter of Athaliah, but a half-sister to Athaliah’s son, King Ahaziah. She was everything Athaliah was not. We know nothing of her other than she saved the infant Joash and his nurse from Athaliah. God doesn’t always use people with great talents, wealth, or fame. Sometimes He uses simple people living their lives for Him.
  3. Joash was most likely hidden in the temple for six years. One wonders how one keeps an infant quiet or a little boy still, until one remembers that Athaliah was a Baal worshiper. The temple, left in neglect, was Joash’s home and “playground.” It’s no wonder he wanted to repair the temple when he grew older.
  4. God preserves His own. In spite of what man (or woman) may decide to do, He preserves a remnant. The Messianic flame did not go out in spite of the attempt to do so.
  5. Judah suffered the leadership of Athaliah for seven years, all while being unaware that the real king was in the temple. We also may suffer under leadership devoid of God, but we serve the real King of the universe. He may seem hidden, but He will be revealed.
  6. The climax seems to be the crowning of Joash and the killing of Athaliah, but the real high point is that these two acts brought about a renewal of the covenant with God. Revival and reformation spread through Judah when Baal’s temple was destroyed, and God’s temple was restored, along with the spiritual guidance of Jehoiada.

Making it Real

Take each of the above lessons, one each day this week, and ponder the following:

Monday: If married, list the characteristics of your spouse that not only attracted you to them, but also made them a wise and godly choice. If single, make a list of traits that God would like in a life partner.

Tuesday: How has God used you in doing simple things to accomplish His work? 

Wednesday: Consider the temple either as your local church or as your body. Choose one and think about how you might help to improve your “temple” as Joash did.

Thursday: Consider how God has preserved your life.

Friday: Does God seem hidden to you? In what ways has He revealed Himself to you in the past?

Sabbath: How can you bring about revival in your life?


Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being the grandmother of two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus.


Subscribe to the Renew Newsletter to receive this adult devotional in your email each week!

* indicates required
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!