TWO MINISTRY MODELS
Lord, surround me with godly spiritual mentors.
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.
Where would you say you are today in your spiritual journey—working through doubts, growing in faith, in need of refreshing?
The sigmoid curve, in the shape of an S, is often used to depict the trajectory of a new idea or endeavor. Starting at the bottom of the S, there is an initial period of struggle and decline, which produces upward growth to a peak, followed by another more significant decline. A quick scan of 2 Chronicles 8–23 reveals that the chosen people have peaked and are now descending into idolatry and rebellion. Today’s reading presents us with a variation on Judah’s S-curve, mostly because of King Joash, who “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (2). It’s never too late to do the right thing.
The most interesting part of this story, however, concerns Jehoiada, the priest. He takes bold action to remove the illegitimate opposition and ensure that a true descendant of David would be king. He then functions as a spiritual coach for Judah’s seven-year-old king. In his book You Lost Me, researcher David Kinnaman describes his study, which reveals that over half of Christian teens and twenty-somethings are leaving the church today. It’s a challenging book, but it reinforces the conclusion we take from our passage today: we need more leaders like Jehoiada.
But then the plot thickens. Just when Joash has removed the training wheels and attempts to initiate some spiritual reform, Jehoiada begins to wobble. Perhaps the old priest is better at ministry than management, a familiar pattern even today, because the Levites have failed to collect funds for temple upkeep. The directness of Joash’s confrontation may seem over the top (6) and his fundraising plan may seem a little aggressive, but it reflects his commitment to the temple, no matter what. We need more leaders like Joash, too.
Which model best fits the ministry opportunities you have today, Joash the spiritual reformer, or Jehoida the spiritual coach? Why?
Lord, help me to be a firm supporter of the church and its ministry.
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