We've been back and forth between Judah and Israel during today's reading, but I want to focus on Judah for the moment.
Joash was the child-king. Jehoiada acted as guardian and regent for him when he was underage and wielded a large influence as he grew. Joash had decreed the repair of the temple of the Lord, but by the time he was thirty, the priests had not yet begun those repairs. So Joash told them to collect money from the people only for the repair of the temple. The priests were to hand over the collected monies which were to be used to hire workmen to repair the temple.
So the temple was repaired. As long as Jehoiada lived, the offerings were presented continually in the temple of the Lord. But Jehoiada was old, and he died. Immediately thereafter, the officials of Judah came to the king and paid homage. So he listened to them and the worship in the temple of the Lord was abandoned.
Joash was influenced from the outside. While he had Jehoiada, he was faithful to the Lord. But when Jehoiada was no longer with him, the pagan influences came back, and Joash fell right into line with "political correctness" -- expediency. Joash was not strong enough in the Lord to withstand the pressures of paganism. His fidelity to the Lord was dependent on the influence of Jehoiada.
Who influences you? Why are you faithful to the Lord? Is it because of your hunger for Him? Or is it because of family or community influences? Only an internal influence can keep you faithful to Him.
Imbue us with Your Holy Spirit. Help us to make Him the most important influence in our lives, that we may never be led astray.
In Jesus' most precious name.