One of the undeniable truths I have seen in the Old Testament is the fact that priest and prophets were very critical to the rulership of the kingdom of Israel. From the likes of Aaron, Samuel, amongst others. They spoke of or for God to the people and the kings who also inquired about God’s direction and say over issues. They were more of ‘intermediaries’ between people and God.
Accountability is key to a group of people or even individuals. It’s the aspect of being answerable to someone. Its essence cannot be overemphasized because it is key to our day to day life as well. I presume that the priests and prophets kept the leaders accountable to whatever they were dedicated to do because they couldn’t stay mute when kings and their leaders and subjects took the wrong counsel and decision or fail to give them input or advice or share the LORD’s voice over various matters. Such was Joash who became a king at the age of 7 years and reigned for 40 years under the priesthood of Jehoiada.
During his inauguration there was a covenant that was established in the house of God that He would serve as per the counsel and instruction of God. There is evidence that he observed this covenant. His zeal for God moved him to the restoration of the temple to its original state and tore down even the altars of Baal. They: king Joash, the priest and all the people continually offered sacrifice to God ALL THE DAYS OF JEHOIDA THE PRIEST. However, after the death of Jehoiada there was a paradigm shift. The people bowed unto Joash, I guess to be allowed to worship their other gods (idols). They went back to idolatry. The efforts of Jehovah to persuade them to true worship through the sending of prophets fell on deaf ears for they would not pay heed to them.
Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada the dead prophet, is put to death between the altar and the temple for calling their actions to account. The people were agitated by the truth with which Zechariah spoke and conspired to stone him with the command of king Joash. Later king Joash is killed by two men who were part of his leadership and bore the pain of the death of Zechariah. This was after invasion by Assyrians.
By Joash accepting people’s request seems as if it was an opportunity for him to exercise full authority without the influence or questioning by anybody. He had a desire to give authority and make decision freely without aid. After all there was order and he needed his influence and say to be felt. After this his name must have been on the lip of everyone.
Secondly, to affirm his position and strengthen his decision, he authorized the killing of anyone who rose to challenge that which he has allowed. He validated his decision by bloodshed; a situation in which Zechariah falls a victim. But he forgets truth stands unshaken. Times change but truth doesn’t.
Paul asks the Galatians about their bewitchery in that they started in the spirit but are ending up in flesh. It seemed that they had kicked off well and progressed a while but when left by themselves they turned to other things. Joash started it all well and the unfolding was splendid but upon the ‘departure’ of Jehoiada they turn to idol worship. Behold how true it is even with our lives. That the love for God overtakes us but as time unfolds we become conformists to the worldly patterns. When we are with brethren we are okay that time but when time to depart and go our own ways like change of location, place, group, job and we are new wherever we are at we get new masks or our real we comes out of us. Unfortunately or fortunately, wherever we go there once a time will be a man or woman who knows you and will ask what on earth has happened. During them days in campus someone could show you some guys who were chairpersons of their high-school Christian Unions in their high-schools and the two scenarios couldn’t reconcile. As far as they are away anybody who knows them they are ‘real’ to the world. Likewise after campus for some of those who were in Christian Union.
The most undeniable truth is that from men you can try to hide but unto the omnipresent and omniscient God you can’t hide. Truth has it that everything lay bare before Him including the deep things of life. Accountability to men is essential and unto God it is more than essential. If we are accountable to God truthfully, then unto men it will be possible.
- 2 chronicles 24
- Luke 49-51
- Galatians 3:1-9