From 2 Kings 12-14
The house of the LORD once again is in need of repair. King Jehoash asks the priests to collect monies for the repair of the temple, but for some time nothing happens. Either they kept the money for themselves or simply neglected to hire workmen. Their neglect shows the spiritual state of Israel. How is your Christian life going? Is it in need of repair. Jesus calls his people to abide in him.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Through years of neglect and a couple instances of pillaging, the house of the LORD has become a bit decrepit. It’s a sign of the spiritual state of Israel that this has happened. Jehoash (the King of Judah) recognises it needs to be repaired and maintained.
4 Jehoash said to the priests, “All the money of the holy things that is brought into the house of the LORD, the money for which each man is assessed—the money from the assessment of persons—and the money that a man’s heart prompts him to bring into the house of the LORD, 5 let the priests take, each from his donor, and let them repair the house wherever any need of repairs is discovered.” (2 Ki 12.4-5)
He calls out for contributions for the work. People are assessed for how much they give depending on their wealth. There’s also room for voluntary giving.
He gives responsibility to the priests to handle the donations.
6 But by the twenty-third year of King Jehoash, the priests had made no repairs on the house. 7 Therefore King Jehoash summoned Jehoiada the priest and the other priests and said to them, “Why are you not repairing the house? Now therefore take no more money from your donors, but hand it over for the repair of the house.” 8 So the priests agreed that they should take no more money from the people, and that they should not repair the house. (2 Ki 12.6-8)
One wonders how many years they were neglecting to use the donations properly.
Sadly the priests took the donations for themselves and the repairs of the temple were neglected.
Jehoash questions them why they were not repairing the house. No answer. Their neglect seems more out of theft and opportunism than anything else.
Again this is an indicator of a sad state of affairs if the people closest to the spiritual life of nation are keeping money for themselves and neglecting the temple.
The priests agree not to take the money, but Jehoash (the king) and Jehoiada (the high priest) don’t trust them all.
9 Then Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in the lid of it and set it beside the altar on the right side as one entered the house of the LORD. And the priests who guarded the threshold put in it all the money that was brought into the house of the LORD. 10 And whenever they saw that there was much money in the chest, the king’s secretary and the high priest came up and they bagged and counted the money that was found in the house of the LORD. (2 Ki 12.9-10)
They put the donations in a locked chest and devise a system of counting for when it gets full.
11 Then they would give the money that was weighed out into the hands of the workmen who had the oversight of the house of the LORD. And they paid it out to the carpenters and the builders who worked on the house of the LORD, 12 and to the masons and the stonecutters, as well as to buy timber and quarried stone for making repairs on the house of the LORD, and for any outlay for the repairs of the house. 13 But there were not made for the house of the LORD basins of silver, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, or any vessels of gold, or of silver, from the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, 14 for that was given to the workmen who were repairing the house of the LORD with it. (2 Ki 12.11-14)
The monies were finally able to be used effectively for the repair and maintenance of the house of the LORD. Note: The items off real value (gold and silver) are used as money indicating a lack of prosperity on the part of the people.
The term ‘house of the LORD’ is repeated several times throughout our passage indicating the focus of the author and the importance of the topic.
What state has the house of the LORD fallen into? What does this mean for Israel?
15 And they did not ask for an accounting from the men into whose hand they delivered the money to pay out to the workmen, for they dealt honestly. 16 The money from the guilt offerings and the money from the sin offerings was not brought into the house of the LORD; it belonged to the priests. (2 Ki 12.15-16)
There were a select few however who could be trusted with the money. They gave it to the workmen and the work on the temple was able to progress. Not all the money went to the repair of the temple, the priests still received their portion and were provided for.
This is one instance of a few where a king attempted to repair the temple. All too often through Kings the temple fell into disrepair or was taken over by a foreign cult. The repairs just as much as the descriptions of the sin happening in the temple are an indicator of the spiritual state of Israel.
How is your spiritual centre going? Is it in need of repair?
In the gospel Jesus calls us to remember where our strength comes from. Jesus calls us to abide in him.
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (Jn 15.1-11)
If your spiritual centre is in need of repair, spend some time with the LORD.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2016. All Rights Reserved.