Read 2 Kings 12
Joash Repairs the Temple
12 In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. 2 Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 3 The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.
4 Joash said to the priests, “Collect all the money that is brought as sacred offerings to the temple of the Lord—the money collected in the census, the money received from personal vows and the money brought voluntarily to the temple. 5 Let every priest receive the money from one of the treasurers, then use it to repair whatever damage is found in the temple.”
6 But by the twenty-third year of King Joash the priests still had not repaired the temple. 7 Therefore King Joash summoned Jehoiada the priest and the other priests and asked them, “Why aren’t you repairing the damage done to the temple? Take no more money from your treasurers, but hand it over for repairing the temple.” 8 The priests agreed that they would not collect any more money from the people and that they would not repair the temple themselves.
9 Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in its lid. He placed it beside the altar, on the right side as one enters the temple of the Lord. The priests who guarded the entrance put into the chest all the money that was brought to the temple of the Lord. 10 Whenever they saw that there was a large amount of money in the chest, the royal secretary and the high priest came, counted the money that had been brought into the temple of the Lord and put it into bags. 11 When the amount had been determined, they gave the money to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. With it they paid those who worked on the temple of the Lord—the carpenters and builders, 12 the masons and stonecutters. They purchased timber and blocks of dressed stone for the repair of the temple of the Lord and met all the other expenses of restoring the temple.
13 The money brought into the temple was not spent for making silver basins, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, trumpets or any other articles of gold or silver for the temple of the Lord; 14 it was paid to the workers, who used it to repair the temple. 15 They did not require an accounting from those to whom they gave the money to pay the workers, because they acted with complete honesty. 16 The money from the guilt offerings and sin offerings was not brought into the temple of the Lord; it belonged to the priests.
17 About this time Hazael king of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem. 18 But Joash king of Judah took all the sacred objects dedicated by his predecessors—Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and Ahaziah, the kings of Judah—and the gifts he himself had dedicated and all the gold found in the treasuries of the temple of the Lord and of the royal palace, and he sent them to Hazael king of Aram, who then withdrew from Jerusalem.
19 As for the other events of the reign of Joash, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 20 His officials conspired against him and assassinated him at Beth Millo, on the road down to Silla. 21 The officials who murdered him were Jozabad son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer. He died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. And Amaziah his son succeeded him as king.
In the passage, we see the greed of the priests to hide away portions of offerings and despite their word being to repair the temple, they keep it for themselves. They had told King Joash they would repair the temple, but this did not happen. The king sees this, questions the priests, then commands them to do an offering next to the altar in honor of repairing the temple. The treasure given as offering then was given to the workers, builders, stone men, etc. of the temple. They were awarded for their work.
We have two primary takeaways in this chapter.
The first one being that when placed with physical treasures in front of us, we are easily distracted from our spiritual responsibilities. This is the case for money, relationships, goals, careers, or whatever else stands in front of your sight of Kingdom work. We tend to fix our eyes on the things that we believe will “repair” our own problems. We look and see where we can get a portion here or there and don’t truly place our whole selves, needs and all, at the altar. By doing this, we place only pieces before the Lord. He wants our whole selves though.
The second takeaway is that we need to pay attention to those who received the treasure and ultimate payment of coins. It was the workers who spent time on the temple. They were the ones who toiled and put forth effort in restoring the temple. They got paid according to their humble and honest work (v. 14). In the Kingdom of God, throughout Scripture, we read of the faithful servants who serve the Lord having great reward. This is not to be confused with working in order to gain salvation, but rather to do good works because of salvation. Jesus’ death and resurrection is not to be celebrated once we have done “enough” to earn it, but we celebrate His death and resurrection because He did it. It is because of the work of the cross that we celebrate and work. He has paid for us to now share the repair of our own lives that was done on the cross.
- In what ways have you sacrificed this week to give to the Lord? In finances, time, relationships, resting?
- In what ways is the Lord asking you to be obedient today?
- How are you walking in the works set before you with freedom?
Lord, I thank you for the ways that you have given to me. You have given me grace abundantly. I pray that you reveal to me ways that I need to sacrifice to you. I pray that greed for finances or time would cease, and that I would freely offer everything to you. It’s all from you, help me to see it as all for you. Show me ways I can be obedient to you today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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