Introduction: God protected King Joash, aka Jehoash, from Queen Athaliah’s attempts to kill him. Initially, Joash faithfully served God. But his obedience started off as only partial obedience. Over time, it grew into full blown rebellion and idolatry. From his mistakes, God reveals seven lessons on correcting and avoiding disobedience in your walk with Him.
First, Joash was only partially obedient because his acts of obedience did not come from his heart. As a result, he obeyed God in some areas and disobeyed Him in other areas. From his mistake, God reveals that disobedience cannot be corrected without personal devotion to Him. Second, because Joash was not fully obedient in obeying God, his priests were not fully obedient in following his commands. From his mistake, God reveals that disobedience in society will frequently exist when a leader is not fully obedient. Third, Joash attempts to motivate the priests in rebuilding the Temple failed. It was only when the high priest worked together with him to create a system of accountability that he was able to succeed. From this example, God reveals that disobedience cannot be corrected without Church accountability. Fourth, the rebuilding of the Temple did not succeed until the priests and the people worked together with their financial gifts and skills. From their example, God reveals that disobedience cannot be corrected without faithfulness and discipline in using your gifts for Him. Fifth, the rebuilding of the Temple also succeeded because the people showed integrity in managing God’s money. From their example, God reveals that ongoing obedience requires personal integrity. Sixth, Joash failed in his walk with God after he faced a foreign invasion. Out of fear, he gave away God’s gold as a bribe to a foreign king instead of trusting God. From his mistake, God reveals that disobedience cannot be corrected if you do not trust Him. Finally, Joash refused God’s efforts to correct him and then embraced idolatry. As a result, God removed His hand of protection, and Joash’s servants killed him. From Joash’s mistakes, God reveals that disobedience can result in His judgment. Solomon reveals that the fear of God can help you to avoid disobedience and judgment.
Joash (Jehoash)’s partial obedience as King of Judah. Joash did right in God’s eyes because did what the high priest told him to do. Yet, his obedience was partial because he was not personally devoted in his walk: “1 In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. 2 Jehoash did right in the sight of the Lord all his days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 3 Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.” (2 Kgs. 12:1-3; 2 Chron. 24:2). Because of his faithfulness and his willingness to follow the instruction of the high priest Jehoiada, God blessed Joash (Jehoash) with a 40-year reign. This was the same amount of time that God gave to David and Solomon (1 Kgs. 2:11; 11:42). But, following Jehoiada’s death, Joash’s new counselors turned his heart from God. Joash did not intervene when the new associates put to death Zechariah, Jehoiada’s son (2 Chr. 24:17-22). He also failed to follow God’s law to destroy all pagan altars of worship that remained in Judah. His obedience failed because it was not an act of personal devotion.
Example ruins of a prohibited high place of sacrifice (Petra, Jordan)1
Joash disobeyed God’s commands by tolerating evil pagan influences in Judah. Canaanite pagan altars were typically built on “high places” (1 Kgs. 13:32; Jer. 7:31). Whenever the Jews came across pagan altars, they were ordered to destroy them: “then you shall . . . destroy all their figured stones . . . and demolish all their high places;” (Nu. 33:52). “You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear down their altars . . .” (Dt. 12:2-3). Failing to observe this rule would eventually cause the Jews to blend their worship of God with Canaanite pagan practices: “ . . . For on every high hill and under every green tree you have lain down as a harlot.” (Jer. 2:20). Failing to follow this rule also caused many kings to stumble.
Partial disobedience was the beginning of the downfall of many kings. Joash (Jehoash) was not alone in his path to failure that began with partial disobedience by not removing the pagan high places of worship. King Solomon was a reformer who ultimately lead a path to failure that began with the same small act of disobedience in refusing to remove the pagan worship centers (1 Kgs. 3:2). He later built special altars on “high places” for his foreign wives to worship their pagan gods (1 Kgs. 11:7-8). King Jeroboam later followed Solomon's example and built altars for idol worship with unauthorized priests (1 Kgs. 12:31). King Asa’s disobedience in this area also led to his downfall (1 Kgs. 15:14). King Jehoshaphat was also a reformer who failed for the same acts of disobedience (1 Kgs. 22:43). King Manasseh later rebuilt pagan altars on high places after King Hezekiah destroyed them (2 Kgs. 21:3). Thus, several kings began with great intentions. But their partial or full disobedience led to their downfall.
The success of each king depended upon their full obedience. Before his death, David warned Solomon that his success as king would depend upon his obedience: “Keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn,” (1 Kgs. 2:3). Each king was further required to write a personal copy of the law to make sure that he followed it: “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests.” (Dt. 17:18). Joash had started off his reign with obedience. Yet, because he did not completely follow God’s Word, he stumbled like many of the kings before him.
Make your obedience an act of personal devotion. Joash failed in his obedience because his obedience was not an act of devotion. The Shema, the Jewish call to worship, required that the Jews follow God’s law as an act of love: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Dt. 6:5). In Hebrew, the reference to a person’s “heart” also includes their “mind.” (e.g., Zech. 8:17; Dt. 9:4; 2 Sam. 13:33; 2 Kgs. 23:25; Esther 4:13; Is. 10:7). Centuries later, a Pharisee lawyer sought to test Jesus. He asked Jesus to name the greatest of the Ten Commandments (Matt. 22:34). Jesus responded by quoting the second verse of the Shema. Yet, because the word “heart” in Greek does not include the word “mind,” He added the word “mind” when He stated the greatest commandment: “You shall love the Lord God with all your heart, and all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matt. 22:35-38; Mk. 12:29-30; Lk. 10:27; Ex. 20:1-8). If you love God, you will want to keep His commandments out of love and not obligation: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 Jo. 5:3). Does your love for Jesus make you want to obey out of devotion, not obligation?
The priests’ partial obedience in using the monies received to repair the Temple. At a time when he was still partially walking with God, Joash (Jehoash) directed the priests to fix damages that Athaliah had inflicted upon God’s Temple. But, following in their king’s personal example, the priests only partially obeyed this command: “4 Then Jehoash said to the priests, ‘All the money of the sacred things which is brought into the house of the Lord, in current money, both the money of each man’s assessment and all the money which any man’s heart prompts him to bring into the house of the Lord, 5 let the priests take it for themselves, each from his acquaintance; and they shall repair the damages of the house wherever any damage may be found.’ 6 But it came about that in the twenty-third year of King Jehoash the priests had not repaired the damages of the house.” (2 Kgs. 12:4-6). As a result of her pursuit of Baal worship in Judah, Athaliah caused damage to the Temple and the sacred things within it (2 Chr. 24:7). God preserved Joash (Jehoash) inside the Temple for six years when Athaliah sought to kill off all of her male heirs. Because God had protected him, Joash (Jehoash) sought to show his appreciation by restoring the Temple. To do this, he ordered that offerings from the people be used for Temple repairs (Ex. 20:13; Lev. 27:2). The fact that the priests did not take the initiative suggests that their hearts were also not completely devoted to God. Their leader did not inspire complete obedience. They followed in his partial example.
The priests receive money to repair the Temple2
A disobedient leader can pull others off of their walks. Paul warned that merely associating with an idolater can cause the believer to be pulled off his or her walk. (1 Cor. 5:11). “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’” (1 Cor. 15:3). Thus, you must: “take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” (1 Cor. 8:9). If merely associating with an idolater can cause you to stumble, the risk is even greater when your leader tolerates idolatry. That person can cause any person or group of people under his or her authority to be led astray by his or her bad example. God will therefore judge these leaders for leading others astray. “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:6). Joash (Jehoash) set the example with his partial obedience. He was not passionate about God’s Word, nor were the priests who followed after his example. Are you inspiring others to obey through your example?
Satan’s goal is rebellion against God’s law. From his own mistakes, Solomon learned that rebellion was the sign of an “evil man.” (Prov. 17:11). According to Paul, rebellion is part of the spirit of “the prince of the power of the air.” (Eph. 2:2). Samuel also said: “. . . rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft . . .” (1 Sam. 15:23). Satan also becomes the father of those who rebel (Jo. 8:44). When society fails to follow its own rules, order will break down. It is no different with God’s Law. Is there any rebellion in your heart?
Joash (Jehoash) instructs the priests to use all new money to finish the repairs. Working together, Joash (Jehoash) and Jehoiada set up an accountability system to inspire obedience: “7 Then King Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and for the other priests and said to them, ‘Why do you not repair the damages of the house? Now therefore take no more money from your acquaintances, but pay it for the damages of the house.’ 8 So the priests agreed that they would take no more money from the people, nor repair the damages of the house. 9 But Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in its lid and put it beside the altar, on the right side as one comes into the house of the Lord; and the priests who guarded the threshold put in it all the money which was brought into the house of the Lord. 10 When they saw that there was much money in the chest, the king’s scribe and the high priest came up and tied it in bags and counted the money which was found in the house of the Lord.” (2 Kgs. 12:7-10). The king tried to encourage the priests with his public directive. But his actions alone failed to generate the revenue to rebuild the Temple. Jehoiada then inspired accountability and giving through a chest that made the offering process more visible. These actions inspired the people to give abundantly knowing that the money would be dedicated (2 Chron. 24:10; Ex. 25:2). These actions also inspired the priests to be faithful stewards in collecting God’s money.
Joash (Jehoash) and Jehoiada ensured accountability with God’s money3
Be accountable to others to remain obedient in your walk. Whenever two or more are gathered in His name, Jesus is present to guide you: “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (Matt. 18:20). To keep His disciples accountable, Jesus also sent them out in twos: “And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits;” (Mk. 6:7; Lk. 10:1). Other believers can help you to renew your mind and stay pure when you fail (Ro. 12:1-2; Jam. 1:27). Thus, believers are urged not to forsake the fellowship and growth that comes from being accountable to other believers (Heb. 10:25). Are you also making yourself accountable and growing in a small group?
Jehoiada used the offerings to pay for Temple repairs. After faithfully collecting the money and keeping it for its intended purpose, the priests were then faithful to use it for its intended purpose to repair the Temple: “11 They gave the money which was weighed out into the hands of those who did the work, who had the oversight of the house of the Lord; and they paid it out to the carpenters and the builders who worked on the house of the Lord; 12 and to the masons and the stonecutters, and for buying timber and hewn stone to repair the damages to the house of the Lord, and for all that was laid out for the house to repair it. 13 But there were not made for the house of the Lord silver cups, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, any vessels of gold, or vessels of silver from the money which was brought into the house of the Lord; 14 for they gave that to those who did the work, and with it they repaired the house of the Lord. ” (2 Kgs. 12:11-14). The people not only were inspired by the example of the king and the priests to give, the people were also inspired to give with their time to rebuild the Temple. Each person had a gift that was needed for the Temple, and they showed the discipline to use those gifts for God.
Be faithful to God just as He is faithful to you. God remains faithful to you, even when your faith fails you: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13). If you are faithful out of devotion out of gratitude, God promises to bless you: “A faithful man will abound with blessings, . . .” (Prov. 28:20(a)). Also, if you prove yourself faithful in the small things that He gives you, He will bless you with greater things: “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’” (Matt. 25:21). Are you remaining faithful in serving Him?
Use your gifts for God’s service. God endowed a man named Bezaleel with special gifts to build the Tabernacle: “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship,” (Ex. 31:1; 35:31). God later endowed a man named Hiram with special artistic gifts to build the Temple: “Now I am sending Huram-abi, a skilled man, endowed with understanding,” (2 Chr. 2:13). God again endowed people here to repair the Temple. Like these Spirit-led believers, God has given you gifts for you to use as a co-builder of His Church: “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Pet. 4:10). “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Ro. 12:6-8). “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;” (Eph. 4:11-12). “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. . . . .4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Cor. 12:1-7). Every person’s gift is needed in the body of Christ because no one person has them all (1 Cor. 12:13-27). Joash (Jehoash) could not rebuild the Temple on his own. He needed the help of others. There is also no gift labeled “spectator” within the Church. “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” (Col. 3:23). Are you using your gifts for Christ?
Be obedient by engaging in the good works that God created you for. God called every believer by name before the foundation of the world to do good works for Him: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10). “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” (2 Tim. 2:21). If you claim to be obedient to God, are you responding by volunteering your time, talent, and treasure to help God’s Church?
The priests and laborers demonstrate integrity with God’s money. In addition to accountability, the rebuilding also succeeded because the people showed personal integrity with God’s money: “15 Moreover, they did not require an accounting from the men into whose hand they gave the money to pay to those who did the work, for they dealt faithfully. 16 The money from the guilt offerings and the money from the sin offerings was not brought into the house of the Lord; it was for the priests.” (2 Kgs. 12:15-16). Because the priests and the laborers were faithful in using God’s money in its intended manner, the high priest and the king did not have to audit the monies received. They were further able to finish the work without using the monies given for guilt and sin offerings, which belonged to the priests: “The guilt offering is like the sin offering, there is one law for them; the priest who makes atonement with it shall have it.” (Lev. 7:7). In other words, the Temple rebuilding did not force the priests to go without income.
Be holy in your dealings with others. Without personal integrity, your discipline for God will frequently fail. People frequently cut corners when they think no one is watching. Thus, you must hold yourself to the highest standards, even when you think no one will see your actions. You are also called upon to be holy in your dealings with others. “For I am the LORD your God . . . be holy, for I am holy.” (Lev. 11:44). “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” (Lev. 19:2). “You are to be my holy people.” (Ex. 22:31). “for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” (1 Pet. 1:16). Jesus is the light of the world today (Jo. 8:12). His light burns inside you as a beacon for those around you (Matt. 5:14). In turn, you are commanded to share the hope that lies within you (1 Pet. 3:15; Matt. 28:19-20). You are also an “ambassador” for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20). Are you a holy witness to the light of Jesus, even when others are not watching you?
Joash (Jehoash) uses all the sacred things and Temple gold to appease the King of Aram. Joash’s obedience in serving God was temporary. Because he failed to trust God, he gave away God’s holy things at the first sign of a threat to his kingdom: “17 Then Hazael king of Aram went up and fought against Gath and captured it, and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem. 18 Jehoash king of Judah took all the sacred things that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own sacred things and all the gold that was found among the treasuries of the house of the Lord and of the king’s house, and sent them to Hazael king of Aram. Then he went away from Jerusalem.” (2 Kgs. 12:17-18). Following Jehoiada’s death, Joash became disobedient in following God’s law. In an effort to bring Joash to repentance, God used the Syrian king Hazael to threaten Judah and Jerusalem: “Now it happened at the turn of the year that the army of the Arameans came up against him; and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, destroyed all the officials of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. Indeed the army of the Arameans came with a small number of men; yet the LORD delivered a very great army into their hands, because they had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash.” (2 Chron. 24:23-24). As a result of one battle, the Syrians wounded Joash (2 Chron. 24:25). Joash then became fearful. Instead of turning to God and repenting, he used God’s holy things to bribe King Hazael to call off his attacks on Judah.
Place your trust in God’s strength, not your own strength. Because Joash became fearful, he failed to trust God. He instead trusted in the money that belonged to God to deliver him. He should have trusted God instead of looking for his own way out: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Prov. 3:5). “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.” (Prov. 28:26). Sadly, the gold that Joash accumulated in rebuilding the Temple caused him to feel less dependent upon God. Thus, in his weakness, he failed to trust God.
God desires obedience more than sacrifice. God wanted the obedience of Joash (Jehoash) more than his sacrifices. “Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” (1 Sam. 15:22). Are you obedient in your walk with Jesus? If not, what kind of an example are you setting for others?
Jesus is not your Lord if you refuse to do what He says. A believer may proclaim Jesus as Lord. Yet, Jesus is not your Lord if you disobey Him: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Matt. 7:21). “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Lk. 6:46). “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” (Jam. 1:22). “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matt. 7:24). “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” (Matt. 7:26). If you call Jesus your Lord, is there any area of your life where you are refusing to obey Him?
The servants of Joash (Jehoash) conspire together and kill him. Because Joash was disobedient to God, he slowly turned from God and eventually embraced idolatry. After refusing to repent, God judged him by allowing his subordinates to conspire together to kill him: “19 Now the rest of the acts of Joash and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 20 His servants arose and made a conspiracy and struck down Joash at the house of Millo as he was going down to Silla. 21 For Jozacar the son of Shimeath and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, struck him and he died; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David, and Amaziah his son became king in his place.” (2 Kgs. 12:19-21). Joash tried to live without God. As a result, God removed His hand of protection from Joash’s many enemies.
Joash’s servants conspired together and then murdered him4
Joash embraces idolatry and experiences God’s judgment. The Book of Chronicles records that Joash eventually served the pagan god Asherim. In his darkened heart, he forsook God: “17 But after the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them. 18 They abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols; so wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their guilt. 19 Yet He sent prophets to them to bring them back to the Lord; though they testified against them, they would not listen. 20 Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he stood above the people and said to them, ‘Thus God has said, ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord and do not prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, He has also forsaken you.’’ 21 So they conspired against him and at the command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the Lord. 22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which his father Jehoiada had shown him, but he murdered his son. And as he died he said, ‘May the Lord see and avenge!’” (2 Chr. 24:17-22).
A nation that refuses to return to God will also experience His progressive discipline. In the Torah, Moses outlined 40 progressively severe “curses” that God could use to bring a rebellious nation back to Him. These include: (1) resistance / opposition (Dt. 28:16); (2) scarcity (Dt. 28:17); (3) infertility (Dt. 28:18); (4) failure (Dt. 28:19); (5) rebuke (Dt. 28:20); (6) hardships (Dt. 28:21); (7) illness (Dt. 28:22); (8) drought (Dt. 28:23-24); (9) defeat (Dt. 28:25); (10) fear (Dt. 28:26-27); (11) disease (Dt. 28:28); (12) confusion (Dt. 28:28-29); (13) stolen spouses (Dt. 28:30(a)); (14) stolen property (Dt. 28:30(b)-31, 33(a)); (15) stolen children (Dt. 28:32); (16) oppression (Dt. 28:33(b)); (17) mental illness (Dt. 28:34); (18) sores and lost beauty (Dt. 28:35); (19) idolatry (Dt. 28:36); (20) being vilified (Dt. 28:37); (21) insect plagues (Dt. 28:38-39); (22) a seared conscience (Dt. 28:40); (23) enslaved youth (the second curse against children) (Dt. 28:41); (24) barren lands (Dt. 28:42); (25) indebtedness (Dt. 28:43-44); (26) destruction (Dt. 28:45-6); (27) captivity (Dt. 28:47(a)); (28) suffering (Dt. 28:47(b)); (29) invasion (Dt. 28:49-50); (30) pillaging (Dt. 28:51); (31) being besieged (Dt. 28:52); (32) self-destruction (Dt. 28:53); (33) husbands turning on their wives (Dt. 28:54-55); (34) wives turning on their husbands (Dt. 28:56-57); (35) unending plagues (Dt. 28:58-59(a)); (36) unending diseases (Dt. 28:59(b)-60); (37) other calamities (Dt. 28:61); (38) population collapse (Dt. 28:62-63); (39) exile (Dt. 28:64); and (40) despair (Dt. 28:65-68). The western world has also enjoyed great prosperity, even as it turns from God and embraces what God calls evil. It should not interpret its prosperity as a blessing. Joash made the same mistake. Instead, it was and is the calm before the storm of God’s discipline.
God will not forsake you when He disciplines you. Even though God disciplined the Jews, He promised never to forsake them: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Dt. 31:6; Heb. 13:5). ‘“Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you.”’ (Lev. 26:11). “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.” (Josh. 1:5). “For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.” (1 Sam. 12:22). “ but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.” (2 Sam. 7:15). Sin would, however, limit the extent of their blessings (1 Kgs. 11:13; 2 Kgs. 17:18; Ps. 89:33). Sin may prevent you from experiencing the fullness of God’s blessings. But He will never leave you or abandon you because of sin unless you reject Jesus as your source of atonement.
To avoid disobedience, fear God by hating evil. Through his mistakes, Solomon learned that he needed to fear God to follow Him: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Prov. 1:7). “Then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God.” (Prov. 2:5). Solomon later defined the fear of the Lord as hating evil (Prov. 8:13). Joash did not fear God. Thus, his partial obedience eventually changed over time into his complete rebellion against God.