8-The Mystery of Childhood

Highlighting Children in the Bible

Part 8: The Little Prince Joash

Little Prince Joash was born at a time when troubling things were happening in the land of Israel. When he was a still a tiny baby his Dad, the King Ahaziah, died suddenly, and now his wicked grandmother, Athalia, ordered that all the royal children be killed. Why did she do that? Because she wanted them all out of the way so that she could be the queen.

But what the wicked queen didn’t know, was that a brave woman named Jehosheba, who was the wife of the High Priest Jehoida, had managed to rescue and hide in a room of the temple, one of the princes who was still a baby. This little prince, of course, was Joash.

This was a scary time for Jehosheba, Jehoida, and the little Joash, because if anyone found out and told the wicked queen what they were doing, it would be the end of all three of them. Well, it didn’t happen because God helped Jehosheba and her husband to protect and care for the child till he was six years old. In that time, they also taught him carefully about God and His Word.

Meanwhile the wicked queen got more and more people to worship idols instead of the one true God, and she also made all kinds of trouble in the land. Some were happy to obey her evil wishes, while many prayed to God, asking Him to save them and their nation.

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Now when the little Prince Joash was about to celebrate his seventh birthday he was happy—like most of us are our birthdays are almost due—while Priest Jehoida and his wife Jehoshea worried. They knew that keeping the young prince safe was becoming more and more dangerous. So Jehoida secretly called together all the important captains, and soldiers, and bodyguards to the temple and brought before them the young Prince Joash. What a shock this was to the big crowd of people who had come together. Never could they have imagined that a young prince of the family of the great King David was still alive, and now, as he stood before them they began to clap, to laugh and to shout with joy and relief. But Priest Jehoida raised his hands for silence as he explained that they must all cooperate to save their young king’s life. So the crowd became quiet as they listened carefully to the instructions given to them to take their weapons and to stand ready to defend young Joash. Then as Priest Jehoida placed the crown upon the head of young Joash, the temple trumpeters blasted off while the people clapped and shouted and stomped their feat as they shouted, “God save King Joash.”

“Imagine,” the people said to one another, “we thought there was no hope for our country and now we have before us the rightful king of David’s line!”

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But by then, the wicked Queen Athalia, who had heard the noise and happy cheers, was running toward to the crowd to find out what was happening. When she reached the temple area she saw with her own eyes the little prince with a crown upon his head. “Treason, Treason! Down with him” she screamed.

This time, to her amazement, no one obeyed her. A band of soldiers dutifully protected their new king while others took the queen away.

Joash repairs temple

Little King Joash reigned faithfully while the wise Priest Jehoida instructed him. Now that they had a good king they all noticed that the neglected temple needed repairs, so they decided together  to collect money to fix it up to make it look like new. So a chest was put out and people came willingly with their gifts of money or of gold or silver or whatever they had that was valuable. In fact, they brought so much that King Joash had to tell them to stop because they had more than enough to complete all the work. After that masons, carpenters, and skilled artists worked hard to repair and make the temple beautiful once again. When all the work was done the people joyfully came together to pray, to thank, and to worship God for saving them from the wicked queen, while they also agreed together to love, honor and to be faithful to Him.

 

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