Read 2 Chronicles 24
Focus on verses 17-18
Jesus tells a parable about a farmers who goes out to plant grain. As he scatters the grain the seeds fall in various types of soil. Some is good soil, some is not so good, and each soil is analogous of the way different people respond to the good news that God loves us. One of the types of soil he mentions is the shallow soil, where the grain sprouts quickly, but because the roots are shallow, when the sun gets hot and the grounds dries up it withers and dies and produces no fruit.
King Joash strikes me as such a person. When he first became king he was zealous to repair the Lord’s temple and he got after Jehoiada and the Levites to gather the temple tax and get the repairs completed so that they could again offer burnt offerings regularly in the house of the Lord. Then Jehoiada dies at a ripe old age of 130, and after his death Joash is convinced by the princes of Judah to abandon the worship of the Lord and to serve the false gods that his mother served. When the Lord sends Zechariah the son of Jehoiada to call the people back to the Lord, it is Joash who gives the command for him to be stoned to death.
It is no coincidence that shortly thereafter the Syrians invade Judah and destroy the princes that influenced Joash to worship idols. The fact that the Syrians were greatly outnumbered, yet defeated the armies of Judah was a clear message that the Lord was on the side of the Syrians in this invasion. Joash is wounded in the battle, and does not recover because his own servants murder him in his bed.
Evil has a way of being its own worst enemy. People who are deceived by evil tend to do evil things not just to good people but to other evil people as well. In some ways evil has similarities to a forest fire…sometimes the only way to deal with it is to get out of the way and let it burn itself out.