“It isn’t right that I should be living in luxury while God’s house is in disrepair. Go into all of Judah and Jerusalem and collect the tax Moses established for the upkeep of the Lord’s house.” Joash looked at the priests. Their blank stares bothered him.
He walked up to Jehoiada the priest. “Do you have an empty chest we can use?”
Jehoiada nodded. “Yes, of course.”
“Bore a hole in the lid and place it next to the temple gate so people can contribute to the restoration of the Lord’s temple. Then, send some Levites into the country to tell people where to pay their temple tax and make any other contribution they like.”
Jehoiada stepped back. “That’s a splendid idea.”
The priests watched in amazement as people lined up to drop money in the chest. Two of the younger men were called upon to carry the heavy chest inside. As the money was being counted the chest was brought back to the gate for more collections.
Joash came to the temple a few days later. “How much money have the Lord’s people given?”
Jehoiada looked up from the table. “My king, we’re still counting it all. But, there’s more than enough to get the temple restored to all its former glory.”
Joash smiled. “Very well. Hire the best masons and carpenters you can find in all of Judah. Our Lord deserves only the best.”
As the construction was nearing completion Jehoiada approached the king. “Now that the temple is nearly finished what shall we do with the remainder of the money we have?”
Joash looked out his window at the temple and smiled. “Have the utensils that wicked Athaliah stolen ever been replaced?”
“No, your Majesty. They haven’t. But, I’ve made sure the burnt offerings have continued during this project.”
Joash looked at the priest. “Buy gold and silver to make new utensils. Only the finest gold will do. We must do this right since it’s for the Lord.”
Jehoiada smiled. “Excellent idea. I’ll get right on it.”
Studying the various kings of Judah is quite an experience. I hope you’ve taken the time to do that on your own.
Joash was the youngest one when he was established as king at the tender age of seven, after all of his siblings were murdered and he was hidden away from the only queen who stole the throne.
I told you its an interesting study. Check it out for yourself. You can find it in 2 Kings 11 and 2 Chronicles 22-23. Whoever said the Bible doesn’t have intrigue hasn’t read the whole thing.
Keep reading in those two sections and you’ll find Joash was more of a follower than a leader.
In his early days he led the nation of Judah well. He reconstructed a temple that was vandalized by the queen who ruled before him. He was also involved in tearing down the temple that was built to Baal.
BUT, he finished very poorly. How poorly? He totally turned away from worshiping the one true God to the point of stoning a prophet of God who tried to tell him he was doing wrong by worshiping Asherah.
I’ve heard it said that it’s very important to choose your friends well. Joash could have benefited greatly from heeding that advice.
The turning point in his life was the death of his mentor, the priest Jehoiada.
Jehoiada’s wife was Joash’s Aunt Jehosheba. She’s the woman who hid Joash when all the other male heirs to the throne were killed by order of Queen Athaliah. So, Jehoiada became Joash’s step-dad while rearing him in secret until he could get the army to back him in setting up the rightful heir to reign over God’s chosen people.
There’s so many twists and turns in this story it has to be real.
The problem comes when Jehoiada turns 130 years old and finally dies. Up to this point Joash reigned well. After that he follows the advice of a different group of people and worships other gods.
Don’t let that be your story. Finish strong in your life. Dedicate your whole life to God not just your soul.
How do I do that?
I’m glad you asked. In a phrase: Make it personal.
You see Joash stayed on track serving God well as long as he had his mentor around to guide him. Once that prop was taken away he lost his bearing. His compass didn’t point to true North.
If he’d taken his relationship with God to a deeply personal level he should have stayed on course in serving God well his whole life.
A good mentor should ground you in your faith not tell you how to live. If all you do is follow their lifestyle and requests you’ll be lost without them.
That’s not what God desires. He wants a personal relationship with YOU.
Spend one-on-one time in the Bible. Read it from cover to cover repeatedly. Don’t skip the “boring” parts. God put those in for a reason. On the fourth, or tenth, or seventeenth time through you’ll catch something there that’ll change your life.
Get to know Jesus so well that when you walk into His presence in Heaven it’ll be like seeing an old friend. Only with awe and trembling, of course.
That’s the depth of relationship I’m talking about. It won’t happen by merely going to church and listening to the sermon served up to you in less than half an hour.
Make it personal. Like God Himself did.
God longed so much for a personal relationship with you that He came in a human body to die a death you deserved to die so you can live a life you don’t deserve.
The only point in all of history that a part of God was separated from God was when Jesus took your sins on the cross and died in your place. For three days Jesus, the God/man, had to leave God’s presence.
That’s how personal He made it.
I’ll see you later. Wade