Trying hard, then giving up

Vol.5, No. 17 – May 17, 2020

Leadership in a Time of Crisis

Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. –2 Chronicles 24:1

There is a plaque above the entrance to the Officer’s Club, at the Naval Base in Bremerton, Washington. It reads:

On the strength of each link in the cable

Dependeth the might of the chain;

Who knows when thou mayest be tested

So, live that thou bearest the strain

What a great truth; what a great plaque. Some of you reading this will go out and have the plaque duplicated to hang on your door, wall, or in your den.

We should call Joash a miracle baby. Rescued from death at the age of one-year. Then for six years, hidden by his mother in the Temple at Jerusalem. This Prince Charming is crowned king at seven years of age. For 23 years, he has a strong and meaningful career.

At thirty-one years of age, the bottom falls out. His uncle dies, the High Priest Jehoiada, at the age of 130. Joash collapses into a pile of nothing. His crutch is gone, his prop removed, and the young king just disintegrates flat on the crown. Then the dominos begin. The nation falls. The leader crumples in the hour of crisis, and the people of the nation were down for the count.

Joash is strong—in the presence of his mentor. Without Jehoiada, he is weak and empty. He is nothing more than a great looking, hollowed out tree. At some storm, the tree will topple. It comes, the tree blows down, and the crash is so loud. Then the years are long, and the only thing left of the tree is the bark of a hollowed out tree.

From loyalty to Israel’s God to total apostasy.

Now after the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them. And they abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim, and the idols. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs (24:17-18)

Joash goes on, giving the appearance of everything being OK. However, he is empty.

The man who does not bar the doors and windows of his senses, and his soul against temptation, and ungodly counsel, is sure to make shipwreck of his life, and in the end becomes a fool. –Old Proverb

Life Application

You know people like Joash – they hit a wall and just seem to stop living.

How many have had a fantastic early life, then experience tragic endings? What should we call it? Imbecility, a pure weakness in mettle to allow oneself to be shaped, and colored by the wrong crowd, or negative experiences in life. Joash did not have the inner fortitude to say, “No!”

A chain is as strong as its weakest link. Just suppose that link is a missing strength: character, courage, or conviction. We make choices; some choices are not worth considering.

We need to be careful. If we think we would never behave like this, Paul gives us a word. Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. –1 Corinthians 10:12

Leadership in a time of crisis is always available—if we would but ask our Almighty God!

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

May 17, 2020

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