Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 10:32-36; 12:4-21; 13:1-4,7-11,14-20; 2 Chronicles 24:3-27
I grew up hearing that drinking beer was sinful. I remember seeing some Christian friends drinking beer one time. They then became “Christians” (yes, with the hand motions!) in my eyes. How could they drink alcohol and seriously call themselves believers? After growing up in such an environment, I went to two Bible colleges where alcohol was forbidden. I found that rule very easy to follow; I’d been keeping it my whole life!
But, having moved out from under the authorities of my parents and schools as a married man, I “rebelled” (until that point, I’d never wanted to try beer). This past March, I got it in my head that to celebrate my deep Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day, I needed to try Guinness. A real Irish experience involves Guinness, I thought (yea, like Coca-Cola is part of a truly American experience, ha!). Dragging Tammany along, I went to a bar and ordered a pint. Needless to say, it was a waste of money and beer because we only drank 1/8th of it! It was disgusting! Trust me, I’m not doing that again.
My story may be tame in comparison to Joash, but it’s the idea is similar. Joash grew up in the temple! He was raised by the high priest (who was called his father in 2 Chronicles 24:22)! His whole life had been saturated with the Lord. Yet, as soon as his adopted father, Jehoiada, died, he changed completely! He willing forgot his upbringing, and I suspect it was the leaders of Judah that instigated it all.
The story of Joash’s plummet from being a godly success story to being a wicked failure screams at us, “Watch out! Don’t do the same!” It’s often easier to live for God when we’re under the godly influence of someone close to us (i.e. parent, spiritual mentor, etc.) than when we’re on our own. Regardless of which situation we are in (held accountable or self-accountable), we NEED to check (regularly!) that the faith we claim is truly our own. This kind of faith will stand up on its own despite the people that surround it.