2 Kings 12

2 Kings 12 Devotional
By Pastor Lawrence

Although all things rightfully belong to God since He is the creator and king of the universe, there are some things that are particularly holy unto the Lord such as the Sabbath or the Lord’s Day and tithes and offerings. These things that have been given over unto God are for God’s work to be used in the way that He commands. The rest of the time and possessions that He gives to us we are free to make use of in a wide variety of ways when guided by God’s Word, but these things are specifically set aside unto God, which makes it all the more heinous when such things that are devoted unto God are stolen from Him by men.

The young king Jehoash was well taught by the old priest Jehoiada in the ways of the Lord after Jehoiada protected him from the murderous intentions of the queen Athaliah hiding him in the temple for six years. Because Athaliah had reestablished Baal worship during her short reign and had stripped the temple of its riches, Jehoash wanted to collect money from all the citizens in order to repair the temple and left the collection in the hands of Jehoiada the priest, who apparently trusted the other priests to handle the money properly. But after twenty-three years of the priests collecting money for the House of the Lord, the work had never begun, so the king ordered a box to be built with a hole in the top to deposit the monies that was originally put inside the court of the priests. But after some suspicion, according to the parallel account in 2 Chronicles, the box was moved outside in the courts of the temple so the people could deposit the monies in the box themselves. And at the end of each day the box was carried to the palace so that one of the king’s administrators could count the money alongside of the Jehoiada the priest to ensure honest dealings. And eventually the temple was repaired through these offerings that were holy unto the Lord. Of course, there is no mention that the priests ever returned the monies that they had taken from the people for over two decades.

Nevertheless, the temple was restored, the offerings were renewed and God was pleased with their worship. But as soon as Jehoiada the priest had passed away, it seems that Jehoash turned his heart away from the Lord listening to the counsel of his foolish advisers. As a result, according to 2 Chronicles 24, the Lord sent Jehoiada’s son, the prophet Zechariah to confront the royal house over their sin and they stoned him to death in the courts of the temple. Consequently, the Lord would send the Syrians to invade Judah and King Jehoash, who had secured the giving of the money unto the house of God, then stripped the gold from God’s house in order to pay tribute to the king of Syria, as if this money was his to give.

Clearly, the king had lost his way and later the king of Syria would attack Jerusalem anyway, Jehoash would be wounded in battle and then assassinated in his own bed by his servants. So, the same man who had restored the holy things of God early in his reign later on had treated God’s holy prophet with contempt shedding his blood and contaminating the courts of the Lord. Afterwards he dared to steal from God’s temple itself in order to maintain his own safety and security. Obviously, it didn’t work. For in the end, the Lord will treat with contempt all those who treat lightly God’s holy things.

Since we all have despised God’s holy things at one time or another and even killed his holy Son by our sin, it is truly a mercy that God is willing to save even the chief of sinners. Nevertheless, in the New Testament in Hebrews 10:29 we are warned against treating these things lightly as those who profess the name of Christ, for the author of Hebrews says, “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.