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. — 2 Kings 12:9
Not long ago, a young university student who had recently come to the United States from Nigeria visited an Apostolic Faith branch church near where she would be attending school. She was happy to meet other Nigerians among the congregation members, and mentioned to one of them that she had previously attended one of the five Apostolic Faith branches in Ondo State, Nigeria. The man she was speaking to was thrilled to hear that there are now five churches in that area. He said that when he left Ondo State eleven years ago, there was only one branch church! The work of the Lord is progressing in that region, and the expansion there — and in every part of the world where an Apostolic Faith work exists — is funded by the tithes and unsolicited offerings of the people of God.
Visitors attending our church services will notice that no collection plate is passed around the congregation for donations. Rather, small boxes have been mounted on the wall of the church sanctuary where people can unobtrusively place their tithes and free-will offerings. The money deposited there is used for the administration of the church organization, including the building of new churches as God leads.
A precedent for this type of financing for God’s work is given in today’s focus verse. King Jehoash handled the need for repairs on the Temple by instructing the priest Jehoiada to place offering boxes “beside the altar.” Periodically, the scribe and the high priest removed the money from the boxes, gave an accounting of what had been given, and distributed the funds to the workmen. Later, when the Temple work was completed, the money was applied to obtaining vessels for use in the Temple (see 2 Chronicles 24:14).
King Jehoash’s method demonstrated that we can all have an important part in the maintenance and expansion of the Lord’s work. We have a privilege and a responsibility to use the resources God has given us to promote the Gospel, and when we do so, we will find that God blesses us in return!
This chapter gives a brief summary of the forty-year reign of King Joash (or Jehoash) of Judah. After God miraculously spared his life by protecting him from the murderous designs of his grandmother, Athaliah, Joash assumed the throne at the age of seven. He was guided by the instruction and spiritual counsel of his high priest, Jehoiada, husband of the woman who had saved his life.
The most notable event of King Joash’s reign was the repair of the Temple (verses 4 through 16). An idol-worshipping nation had allowed the House of God to deteriorate, so at the beginning of his reign, Joash set out to repair it.
The year this task was undertaken is not given, but by the twenty-third year of Joash’s reign, the work had not been accomplished. Though there was no intimation of improper handling of funds, Joash relieved the priests of their collection responsibilities, and instructed the priest Jehoiada to place an offering box beside the altar. When funds were deposited in the box, they were gathered and distributed to the workmen repairing the Temple.
Verses 17 and 18 describe how Joash began paying tribute to Hazael, the king of Syria, who had invaded Philistia and was a growing threat to the people of Judah.
The chapter closes on a sad note. The king who had initially followed the counsel of his godly priest and mentor had begun to worship idols (see 2 Chronicles 24:17-26), had killed the Prophet Zechariah, and had been conquered by the Syrians. His kingdom spiraled out of control, and in the end, he was killed by his own officers. His son, Amaziah, assumed rulership of the kingdom.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah
G. Jehoash of Judah (12:1-21)
1. The character of Jehoash’s reign (12:1-3)
2. The repair of the Temple (12:4-16)
a. The proclamation of Jehoiada (12:4-5)
b. The failure of the priests (12:6-8)
c. The Temple repaired (12:9-16)
3. The ransom to Hazael by Jehoash (12:17-18)
4. The death of Jehoash (12:19-21)
When we participate obediently and willingly in God’s plan for financing His work, we will be blessed and the work of God will progress.