2 Kings 12

2 Kings 12 has the seven year old king Jehoash taking the throne.  In this chapter, Joash and Jehoash are simply variant spellings of the same name as both are used and refer to the same king.  He starts off on the right foot.  “Jehoash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all his days, because Jehoiada the priest instructed him”.  Jehoash was walking with God.  And he wants the temple repaired.  “Let them repair the house wherever any need of repairs is discovered.”   He assigned the priests to collect the offering and use it to fix up things.

But as often happens in an institutional setting, nothing happened.  The priests didn’t do any repairs and “by the twenty-third year of King Jehoash, the priests had made no repairs on the house”.  This sounds a bit like work under the control of a committee, eh?  Great ideas, maybe an overall plan, but no one accountable to actually get it done.  King Jehoash finally gets fed up with the lack of progress and asks “Why are you not repairing the house”?  Not sure why it took 23 years to get to that point, but that is how scripture records it.

So the king makes a change and instructs the priests to simply collect the money.  His folks would then disperse it “into the hands of the workmen who had the oversight of the house of the Lord”.  We moved from committee to accountability and the work got done.  All sorts of repairs were made.  Scripture also tells us about the kinds of workers they engaged with.  “They did not ask an accounting from the men into whose hand they delivered the money to pay out to the workmen, for they dealt honestly”.  Honest men, who didn’t have to be watched or wondered about.

Jehoash goes astray as his leadership winds down.  Hazael, king of Syria, was making noise about coming to fight against Jerusalem.  Instead of trusting God, Jehoash takes all the sacred gifts and gold and other valuables from the House of the Lord and gives them to Hazael, who then turns back.  Unfortunately, while that seems like a good outcome on the surface, Jehoash got that by his own doing, not by depending on the Lord.  “His servants arose and made a conspiracy and struck down Joash”.  It appears that they were frustrated that he was no longer walking with God, but in his own wisdom.  A big turn from how his reign started where he walked completely in God’s ways.

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