What a wild ride we’re on. It’s so sad to read about Joash crumpling up his relationship with the Lord and tossing it over his shoulder so easily. Part of me throws up my hands in disbelief and the other part of me can deeply relate.
Maybe Baal seemed more tangible. Maybe the Asherah poles were an easier thing to worship. It didn’t require a relationship, just mindless religious behavior. God wants our heart, he wants faith and surrender from us, daily. Manmade objects? They don’t need anything from us. They’re easier; but they also don’t mean a thing. They’re distractions, puppets with their strings being pulled by Satan.
“They decided to abandon the Temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and they worshiped Asherah poles and idols instead! Because of this sin, divine anger fell on Judah and Jerusalem. Yet the Lord sent prophets to bring them back to him. The prophets warned them, but still the people would not listen.” 24:18-19
My heart lurched reading that last couple verses. They decided to abandon God, yet he sent prophets to bring them back in. He loves us so much. He is relentless in his efforts to save us, even when we’re blindly rebelling and abandoning him. He gives us chance after chance and comes after us when we run away.
When is a time you’ve seen God send someone to come after you when you wander away? He is the best Shepherd.