The History of Jehoash
2 Kings 12:4-15
And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD…

The whole story of Joash is soon told. He was a son of Ahaziah, and the only one of his children who escaped the murderous policy of Athaliah.

I. THE DILAPIDATING INFLUENCE OF TIME UPON THE BEST MATERIAL PRODUCTIONS OF MANKIND. The temple had not been built more than about one hundred and sixty years, had got into a state of dilapidation, there were breaches in it; where the breaches were we are not told, whether in the roof, the floor, the walls, or in the ceiling. The crumbling hand of time had touched it. No human superstructure, perhaps, ever appeared on the earth built of better materials, or in a better way, than the temple of Solomon. It was the wonder of ages. Notwithstanding this, it was subject to the invincible law of decay. The law of dilapidation seems universal throughout organic nature; the trees of the forest, the flowers of the field, and the countless tribes of sentient life that crowd the ocean, earth, and air, all fall into decay; and so, also, with the material productions of feeble man. Throughout the civilised world we see mansions, churches, cathedrals, palaces, villages, towns, and cities, in ruins. All compound bodies tend to dissolution, there is nothing enduring but primitive elements or substances. This being so, how astoundingly preposterous is man's effort to perpetuate his memory in material monuments. The only productions of men that defy the touch of time and that are enduring are true thoughts, pure sympathies, and noble deeds.

II. THE INCONGRUITY OF WORLDLY RULERS BUSYING THEMSELVES IN RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS. Jehoash was no saint, the root of the matter was not in him; he had no vital and ruling sympathy with the Supreme Being, yet he seemed zealous in the work of repairing the temple.

III. THE VALUE OF THE CO-OPERATIVE PRINCIPLE IN THE ENTERPRISES OF MANKIND. It would seem that the work of repairing the temple was so great that no one man could have accomplished it. Hence the king called earnestly for the co-operation of all. They obeyed his voice. The people gave the money, and all set to work. Two remarks concerning the principle of co-operation.

1. It is a principle that should govern all men in the undertakings of life. It was never the purpose of the Almighty that man should act alone for himself, should pursue alone his own individual interests. Men are all members of one great body, and was ever member made to work alone? No. But for the good of the whole, the common weal.

2. It is a principle that has done and is doing wonders in the undertakings of life. This principle, however, has its limits. In spiritual matters it must not infringe the realm of individual responsibility. There is no partnership in moral responsibility. Each man must think, repent, and believe for himself. "Every man must bear his own burden." The narrative reminds us of —

IV. THE POTENCY OF THE RELIGIOUS ELEMENT IN EVEN DEPRAVED MEN. At this time Israel was morally as corrupt as the heathen nations. Notwithstanding this, the religious sentiment was in them, as in all men, a constituent part of their natures, and this sentiment is here appealed to, and roused into excitement, and being excited men poured forth their treasures and employed their energies for the repairing of the temple. This element in man often sleeps under the influence of depravity, but mountains of depravity cannot crush it, it lies in human nature as the mightiest latent force. Peter the Hermit, Savonarola the Priest, Wesley the Methodist, and others, in every age have roused it into mighty action even amongst the most ignorant and depraved of the race.

V. THE POWER OF MONEY TO SUBDUE ENEMIES. Here is a man, a proud, daring monarch, who was determined to invade Judea, and to take possession of Jerusalem. Relinquishing his designs, what was the force that broke his purpose? Money. It is said that Jehoash sent gold to Hazael, "and he went away from Jerusalem." Truly money answereth all things. Money tan arrest the march of armies and terminate the fiercest campaigns.

(David Thomas, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the LORD,

WEB: Jehoash said to the priests, "All the money of the holy things that is brought into the house of Yahweh, in current money, the money of the persons for whom each man is rated, and all the money that it comes into any man's heart to bring into the house of Yahweh,

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