SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Joash becomes king at a very young age (verse 1) and his reign as king starts out well.He descries to restore the Temple and asked the people to give offerings to the restoration (verses 4-5).
- Things were going great for the people of Judah, due to their following God, so ... they decided to stop following God (verse 18). Why? Sometimes prosperity can lead to pride. People ignore the part God has played in their success, therefore become self-sufficient, and choose to leave God out.
- The nation turns away from God and God is, obviously, angry (verse 18). So what does God do? He "sent prophets to bring them back to him" (verse 19). God did not give up on them, but tried to convince them to return to Him.
- Joash started well, but he turned away from God. In the end, his own people assassinate him (verse 25).
- In this chapter the people gladly give offerings to help restore the temple (verse 10). God's people are responsible for God's "house" and for God's mission, and should be excited to give generously towards it. God encourages us to give generously, and with a great attitude, in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
- The Levites (priests) were commanded by the king to collect the offering, and it was part of the job description God gave them (see Exodus 30:11-16). We see in verse 5 that they delayed collecting the offering. Delayed obedience is often no better than disobedience. If there's something we're supposed to do, especially something God has commanded, we need to obey immediately.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- What is your attitude about giving offerings to God through your church? Does it excite you to give generously?
- What about giving makes you "cheerful"?
- What about the idea of giving makes you feel stingy or not cheerful?
- Ask God to give you the right attitude about giving to Him.
- Is there any place in your life where you plan on obeying God ... later? Where are you delaying obedience? Realize that it's really disobedience, repent, and ask God to help you do what you need to do.