II Kings 12

Those who are entrusted with public money for the carrying on of God’s work should learn to deal faithfully,
as those who know God will reckon with them, if men do not.
Loose financial methods in the church dishonor God.

1 In the seventh year of Jehu Jehoash began to reign; and forty years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Zibiah of Beer-sheba.

2 And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him.

3 But the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.

4 ¶ And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man’s heart to bring into the house of the LORD,

5 Let the priests take it to them, every man of his acquaintance: and let them repair the breaches of the house, wheresoever any breach shall be found.

6 But it was so, that in the three and twentieth year of king Jehoash the priests had not repaired the breaches of the house.

7 Then king Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and the other priests, and said unto them, Why repair ye not the breaches of the house? now therefore receive no more money of your acquaintance, but deliver it for the breaches of the house.

8 And the priests consented to receive no more money of the people, neither to repair the breaches of the house.

9 But 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 cometh into the house of the LORD: and the priests that kept the door put therein all the money that was brought into the house of the LORD.

10 And it was so, when they saw that there was much money in the chest, that the king’s scribe and the high priest came up, and they put up in bags, and told the money that was found in the house of the LORD.

11 And they gave the money, being told, into the hands of them that did the work, that had the oversight of the house of the LORD: and they laid it out to the carpenters and builders, that wrought upon the house of the LORD,

12 And to masons, and hewers of stone, and to buy timber and hewed stone to repair the breaches of the house of the LORD, and for all that was laid out for the house to repair it.

13 Howbeit there were not made for the house of the LORD bowls of silver, snuffers, basons, trumpets, any vessels of gold, or vessels of silver, of the money that was brought into the house of the LORD:

14 But they gave that to the workmen, and repaired therewith the house of the LORD.

15 Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen: for they dealt faithfully.

16 The trespass money and sin money was not brought into the house of the LORD: it was the priests’.

17 ¶ Then Hazael king of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it: and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem.

18 And Jehoash king of Judah took all the hallowed things that Jehoshaphat, and Jehoram, and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own hallowed things, and all the gold that was found in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and in the king’s house, and sent it to Hazael king of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem.

19 ¶ And the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

20 And his servants arose, and made a conspiracy, and slew Joash in the house of Millo, which goeth down to Silla.

21 For Jozachar the son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, smote him, and he died; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Amaziah his son reigned in his stead.

2 Kings 11:21; 12:1-16 – ​Money for the Lord’s House.

   So long as the good priest lived, the young king did well. How much we owe to the presence of wise, strong men to advise and assist us! But neither king nor priest dared to go to the furthest limit of reform (v. 3). This failure bore disastrous fruit in after-years. It is a mistake to cut off weeds on the surface; they will sprout again and give trouble. If thy right hand cause thee to offend, cut it off.
   The Temple had suffered terribly under Athaliah (2 Chronicles 24:7). The king might well take an interest in its reconstruction, because of the shelter it had afforded him from his enemies. The first attempt to raise a renovation fund was a failure. It was in the wrong hands. The priests appear to have appropriated for their own use offerings intended for Temple repair. A change was therefore required, and their receipts were limited to the sin-offerings. As soon as a clear chance was given to the people, their free-will gifts totaled a large amount, which juied the resumption of the work. Certainly the promptness and integrity of the men who did the work put to shame the lethargy and peculation of the priests. Trust the people! This is not the last time that the heart of the masses was more to be trusted than the priestly caste.

2 Kings 12:4—The money that cometh into any man’s heart to bring into the house of the LORD.

   The thought of giving for God’s house should ascend in a man’s heart, till it becomes the royal and predominant thought, swaying the whole man to obedience.
   For the reconstruction of the Temple there were two classes of revenue: the tribute money which each Israelite was bound to give, and the money which a man might feel prompted to give. Surely the latter was the more precious in the eye of God.
   Does it ever come into your heart to bring some money into the house of God? Perhaps the suggestion comes, but you put it away, and refuse to consider it. The thought begins to ascend in your heart, but you thrust it down and back, saying, Why should I part with what has cost me so much to get! Beware of stifling these generous promptings. To yield to them would bring untold blessing into heart and life. Besides, the money is only yours as a stewardship; and the thought to give it to God is only the Master’s request for His own.
   The great mistake with us all is, that we do not hold all our property at God’s disposal, seeking His directions for its administration; and that we forget how freely we have received that we may resemble our Father in heaven, and freely give. Too many, alas! are anxious to hoard up and keep for themselves that which God has given them, instead of counting themselves and all they have as purchased property, and using all things as His representatives and trustees. Let us make a complete surrender to our Lord, and from the heart sing,

       Take my silver and my gold,
       Not a mite would I withhold.

2 Kings 12:17-21 – ​Inglorious Ends.

   As long as we are with the Lord, he is with us. Then our enemies are his enemies, and he shows himself strong on the behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward him (2 Chronicles 15:2). So Joash found it in the earlier part of his reign. We need to ponder the blessings set out in Psalm 81:14-16, as guaranteed to the life which is at one with God. But directly Joash listened to the princes and forsook the house of God and gave license to the groves and idols, God was turned against the people and became their enemy (2 Chronicles 24:23-25). The reign that commenced in sunshine was sadly overcast, and the king perished by the hands of conspirators and never came to the sepulchre of the kings.