GIVING AND SERVING
Thank You, God, for the privilege of working with You. Show me how I might be more effective.
Read 2 Chronicles 24:1–16
Joash Repairs the Temple
24 Joash was seven years old when he 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 of Jehoiada the priest. 3 Jehoiada chose two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters.
4 Some time later Joash decided to restore the temple of the Lord. 5 He called together the priests and Levites and said to them, “Go to the towns of Judah and collect the money due annually from all Israel, to repair the temple of your God. Do it now.” But the Levites did not act at once.
6 Therefore the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest and said to him, “Why haven’t you required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax imposed by Moses the servant of the Lord and by the assembly of Israel for the tent of the covenant law?”
7 Now the sons of that wicked woman Athaliah had broken into the temple of God and had used even its sacred objects for the Baals.
8 At the king’s command, a chest was made and placed outside, at the gate of the temple of the Lord. 9 A proclamation was then issued in Judah and Jerusalem that they should bring to the Lord the tax that Moses the servant of God had required of Israel in the wilderness. 10 All the officials and all the people brought their contributions gladly, dropping them into the chest until it was full. 11 Whenever the chest was brought in by the Levites to the king’s officials and they saw that there was a large amount of money, the royal secretary and the officer of the chief priest would come and empty the chest and carry it back to its place. They did this regularly and collected a great amount of money. 12 The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who carried out the work required for the temple of the Lord. They hired masons and carpenters to restore the Lord’s temple, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the temple.
13 The men in charge of the work were diligent, and the repairs progressed under them. They rebuilt the temple of God according to its original design and reinforced it. 14 When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada, and with it were made articles for the Lord’s temple: articles for the service and for the burnt offerings, and also dishes and other objects of gold and silver. As long as Jehoiada lived, burnt offerings were presented continually in the temple of the Lord.
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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhen was the last time your heart was moved to give toward God’s service?
We jump forward 17 chapters, about a hundred years, five kings and one queen. It has not been a good period. Under Solomon’s son Rehoboam, the kingdom has split into two. The kings in the southern part, Judah, have been a mixed bag. Queen Athaliah (7), heavily into Baal worship and a bloodthirsty tyrant, wiped out the rest of the royal family, with one exception: Joash has been hidden in the Temple, saved by the priest Jehoiada and his wife.
With Baal, one of the Canaanite gods, in favor, the Temple had been neglected. When we make other things our main interest, our relationship with God always suffers. Joash sets out on a repair mission. But first a bit of fundraising, bringing back the tax which Moses introduced (Exod. 30:11–16). We fund our activities rather differently (and it will vary from one church group to another), but take a look at what happened here. They gave gladly and generously (2 Cor. 9:7)—there was even some left over. So, what about our giving? Glad? Generous? The workers worked hard (13, GNB). We’ve seen that before. And if we look into the New Testament we see it in people like Paul (1 Cor. 15:10). That’s a challenge for us in our service for God, but remember we have God working with us.
How do you give to God? Do you give a percentage? Do you give in thoughtful prayer? How is God challenging you to give today?
In prayer, review your approach to giving and serving. Is it generous? Is it glad? Ask God to shape your heart today.