Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Joash-The Temple is a Mess

By Mary Vee
II Kings12 and II Chronicles 24

From Joash's Scrolls


While it is true that my country, Judah, has returned to peace since Queen Athaliah was killed, I have seen many problems in urgent need of fixing.

The people had worshiped other gods for such a long time. They didn't know what was right  in God's eyes anymore. As king, it became my duty to bring this nation back to God. But I am young and don't want to cause any problems.

Thankfully, Jehoida, the priest who kept me safely hidden from Queen Athaliah until I was crowned, counseled me what to do almost daily. 

Jehoida selected wives for me when I grew older. I was married and had sons and daughters. 

One day I walked by the temple and was shocked to see the broken condition it was in. I'm not sure why I hadn't noticed before. Doors and walls had cracks, the surface of the furniture marred--I knew in my heart this had to be the first project to help bring the people back to worshiping the one true God.

I called all the higher priests together and said, "Collect all the money the people bring as sacred offerings to the temple of the Lord. This includes the money collected in the census, the money received from personal vows, and the money brought voluntarily to the temple. Every priest is to receive the money from one of the treasurers and give it to be used to repair whatever damage is found in the temple."

I called the priests and the 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." They didn't move right away. I stood straight and raised my voice. "Do it now."

The Levites still didn't do as I said. I knew my young age kept them from taking me seriously.

Athaliah's sons had broken into the temple of God and used its sacred objects for the Baals they worshiped.

By the time I had ruled twenty-three years, I felt tall and strong in spirit enough to command the people and expect obedience. I called Jehoida, the priest and asked, "Why haven't you forced 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 Testimony?"

He didn't answer right away. 

I looked him straight in the eye. "You and the priests are not to take any more money from your treasurers. Instead, hand that money over to the workers to repair the temple."

The priests agreed to stop collecting money from the people and to hire workers to repair the temple as I asked.

The priest, Jehoida took a chest and drilled a hole in its lid. He placed it beside the altar on the right side as the people entered the temple of the Lord. The priests who guarded the entrance put all the money that was brought to the temple of the Lord into the chest.

A proclamation was sent out to the people to bring contributions for the repair of the temple. The officers and people gladly did so. The money was collected and shown to my guards then given to masons, bronze and iron workers, and carpenters to restore the Lord's temple. The workers acted in complete honesty.

The men worked hard rebuilding the temple of the Lord as it once was. When they finished, they brought the extra money back to me. We then used the funds to make new dishes, and other articles of gold and silver to be used in the temple.

Jehoida offered sacrifices to the Lord for the people until his last day. He died at age one hundred and thirty.

I will miss him very much. 

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1. Why didn't the Levites listen to king Joash?
2. What had Queen Athaliah's sons done to the temple?
3. What did Joash ask the people to do with their money?
4. Were the workers honest?
5. What did the workers do with the extra money?
6. What did the temple look like when they finished?
7. Who helped Joash?

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