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What is directing my life?

| By Susanna Deepthi |

 


Lessons from the life of King Joash (2 Chronicles 24)


Who does not love a movie or a novel with a gripping story? The life of King Joash is one such story which unfolds in the face of treason, betrayal, a blood thirsty villain, massacre of royalty, assassination, and power play. Baby Joash is rescued and protected by his aunt Jehosheba and her husband Jehoiada. Some lessons to learn from King Joash’s life:


His advisors directed his life

Joash was quite dependent on his mentor, advisor, regent, priest, and father-figure, Jehoiada for guidance and direction (2 Chron 24: 2,3,14). Jehoiada became his moral and spiritual compass. After Jehoiada’s death, Joash listened to other officials and followed their gods. He clearly lacked personal conviction and devotion.


Growing up in the temple and having a godly mentor did not really help. He failed to read God’s Law everyday as expected of a King (Deut. 17:18,19). This made him dependent on other people and look to them for approval and acceptance. His life teaches us not to become dependent on others but act from a personal conviction and relationship with God. And to make His word, our moral compass. 


Past circumstances influenced his self-esteem and self-worth.

Joash had had a difficult and traumatic childhood. He was rescued from the jaws of death, grew up without parents and relatives and was confined to a safe room in the temple. He had his share of insecurities and self-doubts. He repairs and reforms the temple, and starts off big. In fact, he aspires to restore it to its former glory, but that devotion and reverence is absent later when he commits murder in the same temple courts desecrating God’s sanctuary. We wonder about his true commitment to God.


Did it stem from a need for appreciation from people? Did he want to make a name for himself? In contrast, we see Moses who had had a difficult childhood too but dealt with his adult insecurity by depending on God and remaining humble. God used him to rescue His people. It is a reminder that our past circumstances do not determine our worth, and what God can do. When we commit our painful past to God, He can restore us and use us for His glory. When we trust and obey Him, we can enjoy the peace and security that come from depending on Him.


Inherited nature controlled his behaviour

Joash’s family tree was not something he could be proud of.  He was born in the lineage of Jezebel, Athaliah, and wicked kings. His evil nature surfaces quick enough when he murders his own cousin, priest Zechariah, the son of his foster-parents, without any remorse, gratitude, or repentance. He was definitely controlled by his inner nature. A few generations later, in the same lineage we see the rise of King Hezekiah who was in stark contrast to his predecessors. His character was different because he held onto God’s commands and followed Him (2 Kings 18:3, 5, 6).


Some of us may have inherited some unhealthy qualities and patterns. It may be because of the fallen nature that is in us. We have desires of the flesh that we struggle to overcome. However, as Paul reminds us, we are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5: 17) and when we walk by His Spirit, we will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Gal. 5: 16). Are we controlled by the Spirit of God in our everyday life, or the desires of flesh? Are we in the process of being conformed to the image of Christ?


Sin separated him from God

Towards the end, Joash reached a point of no return. His heart was so calloused that he did not realise he was far away from God. Idolatry, murder, and other evil he committed separated him from God (2 Chr 24: 20). Our God is mighty to save, and we can depend on Him for help. However, as Isaiah reminds us, our sin can isolate us from Him (Is 59:1-2).


We may not commit murder, follow other gods, and do blatantly wicked things but have idols we nurture within us. A sin that needs to be cleansed. As Susanna Wesley defines, “Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, whatever increases the authority of the body over the mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may seem in itself.”  What sin in our lives is obscuring our view of God? We need to remove it to enjoy a fruitful and fulfilling relationship with God.


What are we dependent on which is directing our lives? Is it other people, a past circumstance, my inner nature, or the sin I wilfully commit?

Shall we commit our lives to God so He can redirect our lives?





 

 

 

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