Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 24:1-16. Let’s go!
2 Chronicles 24:4 (NIV) 4 Some time later Joash decided to restore the temple of the LORD.
On verses 1-14: When Athaliah was ruling Judah, she abandoned the temple of the Lord and allowed it to go into disrepair. Not just that, during that time worshipers of Baal, the idol that Athaliah worshiped, would break into the temple of the Lord and steal its sacred objects for use in their worship of Baal (v7). Athaliah looked down on the temple of the Lord. In contrast, King Joash comes into power and has a heart for the temple. To finance the temple repairs, Joash orders the priests and Levites to collect monies that the law of the Lord required the people to give. When the priests and Levites are slow to act, Joash rebukes Jehoiada the lead priest and decides to institute another way to collect the funds: he issues a proclamation in all Judah and Jerusalem that everyone is to bring in the tax that Moses required. The people responded gladly, pouring so many offerings into the collection chest that after the temple was repaired and rebuilt, there was money left over to make new articles for the temple (v10-14).
Here are two lessons I learn from this passage:
I believe a big reason why Joash was so passionate about taking care of God’s house is because Joash saw God’s house as his home. After all, the temple was where Joash grew up even as an infant. It’s where Joash was protected and kept safe from his enemies. It’s where Joash as a young kid probably played games and pulled pranks on the priests working in the temple. It’s where he learned the law of the Lord from his father-like figure Jehoiada. Because Joash saw God’s house as his home, Joash passionately took care of God’s house.
Like Joash,I pray that you would have a heart for God’s house, your church. I pray that you would see your church not just as a place you go to on Sundays, but as your home, the place where you were born again, the place where you grew up, the place where you find protection and refuge, the place where you spend time with your family, the place where you learn God’s Word from parental figures God has placed in your life, and the place where you find your greatest joy.The church is your home.When you have the attitude that the church is your home, you’ll treat the church differently.You’ll give more willingly.You’ll love more steadfastly. You’ll take care of the church more passionately.As Johnsays about Jesus, “Zeal for Your house will consume me”. Like Joash and Jesus, may we take great care of God’s house because we see God’s house as our home.
When one system for collecting money was not working, Joash instituted another system that worked (v8). What can we learn from this? God’s church needs people who are passionate about creating more effective systems so that the church can operate at its very best. If you are a strategic, detail-oriented thinker, if you are gifted in organizing, maintaining and improving systems, then you have a role to play in God’s kingdom for sure. God’s kingdom does not run on emotional experiences alone, but on effective systems.
2 Chronicles 24:15-16 (NIV) 15 Now Jehoiada was old and full of years, and he died at the age of a hundred and thirty. 16 He was buried with the kings in the City of David, because of the good he had done in Israel for God and his temple.
On verses 15-16: Jehoiada was not a king but a priest. Yet there is no one who had a greater influence on the nation during Jehoiada’s years than Jehoiada himself. In addition to being the nation’s spiritual leader, Jehoiada was the one who protected Joash, raised Joash, proclaimed Joash as the new king, and gave Joash spiritual oversight while Joash reigned. It’s no wonder that when Jehoiada died, the nation of Judah honoured Jehoiada the way that they would honour a king, burying him with the kings in the City of David “because of the good he had done in Israel for God and his temple” (v16).
What can we learn from this? Give proper honour to those whom God has used to do good in your city for God and for His church. As 1 Thessalonians 5:12 says,
1 Thessalonians 5:12 (NLT) 12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.
We tend to take our leaders in the Lord’s work for granted. But God’s Word calls us to honour them. How do you do that? We show honour to our leaders in the little things – the way we greet them, the way we treat them, the way we talk to them and about them, the way we say goodbye if we move elsewhere, the way we go out of our way to remember them, think of them and thank them. It’s in these little ways that we show them honour. How well do you honour the leaders God has used in your life?When it comes to honouring your leaders in the Lord’s work, don’t just do it when they are gone. Honour them while you still have them with you.
Lord Jesus, You died for Your church because You saw Your church as Your home. May I see my church as my home too and take care of my church accordingly. As part of this, help me to show proper honour to those who have led me in the house of God. May I treat them well, show them the honour they are due, and never take them for granted. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!