2 Kings 12:2
“And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him.”
A troubling narrative is found in the verse above. It says about Jehoash that he did “right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him.” It is troubling because Jehoiada was not who he was supposed to be serving; He was supposed to be serving the God of Jehoiada. Jehoash may have done right in the sight of the LORD while Jehoiada was alive, but he wasn’t serving the LORD. If Jehoash had served the LORD instead of just doing what he did to please Jehoiada, he would have continued doing right when Jehoiada died.
The story of Jehoash is a story that is relived over and over again in the lives of Christian’s who have the wrong focus. Just like Jehoash had a loyalty to Jehoiada because of how he saved and protected his life when he was a boy, many Christians do right while a man of God is alive who influenced them when they were children. The problem with this type of Christianity is that the focus is wrong because your focus should be on the God of the man who influenced you instead of on the man.
I think of a man who in the early years of his ministry was every bit an old paths preacher. God used him to build a successful work that influenced many, but when an old preacher he admired and followed went to Heaven, this pastor changed how he did things to the point that he no longer would have been called an old-paths Baptist preacher. These stories should remind us of a few things.
First, you should not do right because of a man. Jehoash certainly did right in the sight of the LORD, but his heart was only doing right because of the influence of the preacher. You can do right because of the preacher you are under, but your basis of doing right is flawed because you will eventually change what you do when another preacher comes your way. Certainly, young Christians tend to do what their pastor tells them to do, but they must quickly be pointed to the Word of God as their basis for right and wrong. If this is not done, they will keep their focus on man.
Second, a man at his best state is flawed. Even Jehoiada the priest was found not doing right by Jehoash, and that should have been the alert to refocus his actions on the Word of God. My friend, you may do what you are doing because of what a good man of God tells you to do, but you must always remember that even men of God are sinners. Many Christians have become highly disillusioned with the old paths when they’ve discovered the flaws of a respected man of God. The reason you mustn’t focus your actions on what a man of God does is because you are setting yourself up for disappointment when you find out that he isn’t everything you thought he should be.
Third, if your focus is right, you won’t stop walking the old paths if the man of God you admired falls in sin. So many Christians have gone the way of the world when a man of God falls in sin, which only reveals they had the wrong focus. When you blame your worldly lifestyle on the fall of a man of God, you are admitting you are following man and not God. The answer to all of this is to stay focused on God. Let me encourage you to do right because of God’s Word. You will never be disappointed if you make God’s Word your focal point of actions.