Jehoiada’s leavening effect continued in Judah through his son Zechariah, who prophesied by the Spirit of God (2 Chronicles 24:20). Judah went astray, but that was not the fault of Jehoiada or Zechariah his son.
Zechariah was one of the prophets whom the Lord sent to Judah. After Judah left Jehovah, why did He send His messengers to speak to His people? “Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the LORD; and they testified against them, but they would not listen” (24:19).
What was Zechariah’s appeal to the Israelites? First, his message was, “Thus says God” (24:20). That was exactly what Judah needed to hear: God’s word. Today God’s word is what the church and the world need to hear, too. It is God’s word that saves sinners and strengthens saints (Romans 1:16; Acts 20:32). Our Bible classes need to be just that – Bible classes, not philosophy or sharing man’s opinions.
The second part of Zechariah’s appeal was a question: “Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper?” (24:20). Sometimes we need to face questions that cause us to think and evaluate what we are doing and why we are doing it. Zechariah’s inquiry made it plain that God’s people could not prosper in His sight if they refused to submit to His instructions. If profiting in God’s sight is what we are after, then we must be ready to submit to Him.
The third aspect of Zechariah’s appeal was a straightforward statement of fact: “Because you have forsaken the LORD, He also has forsaken you” (24:20). A former messenger of Jehovah had said to King Asa, “The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you” (15:2). He was talking about the potential to forsake God. But what we read from the lips of Zechariah is that it already had happened: Judah had forsaken its Hope, and the consequence was devastating. God had forsaken them as a result (24:20). Do you mean to say that God would forsake His children? I am not the source of such an idea. The Bible says it can happen and in some cases did happen (15:2; 24:20). Who can argue with such facts that God sets forth?!
A wise and God-fearing people would have been grateful for the truths that were revealed to them through Zechariah. Not King Joash and the Judahites. Rather than thank God for the prophet’s message, “. . . they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD” (24:21). How tragic that was, and how tragic it is to see those who teach the truth today be treated with disrespect and disdain. The truth is still the truth, brethren.
— Roger D. Campbell