The Temple Repaired
Monday Club Sermons
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…

1. The house of God is apt to show a decline of religion, and should share the blessings of a reformation. The tabernacle, and the temple which replaced it, were constructed with the utmost care. They were designed to resist wear and decay; but because the most durable materials are perishable, provision was made for the care of these sacred buildings. Moses, under Divine direction, created a temple fund, which was sustained by a uniform tax of half a shekel upon every member of the congregation of twenty years old and upward. In the troubled times which preceded the succession of Joash to the throne, this fund had not been collected; and in the general decline into irreligion, the temple and its furniture had been neglected, plundered, and wasted. One of the conspicuous signs of the religious condition of the nation was this house. By viewing it one could see at a glance that the service of God had been exchanged for idolatry. It is a pretty safe rule that we may judge of the state of religion in a town by the condition of the churches; if these are in good repair, without and within, the inference is, — it will not always hold, but it is the rule — that the religious institutions are flourishing, God is honoured, and His blessings are with His faithful people.

2. One reason why the temple had been neglected was that the people worshipped in the high places. We have references to these places in all the Jewish history. They were not necessarily places of idol worship. God was worshipped in them. Devout Jews, who worshipped in the temple, worshipped also at private or local altars, the high places. But, as religion declined, the tendency was to prefer the high places to the temple, and to corrupt the purer worship of these shrines by idolatries. The high places became rivals of the temple.

3. The king thought of the temple before Jehoiada, though the great priest was the reformer of his age. This seems strange. The position of Jehoiada throughout the work was strange; he seems never to have fully appreciated the importance of the repair of the temple. Probably the reason was that he was absorbed in other parts of the mighty task to which he had devoted himself. It has not been uncommon for reformers to be guilty of extraordinary oversight, their very zeal preventing their viewing their work in its true proportions. But while this was the case, the training of Jehoiada appears in the devotion of the king.

4. The first plan adopted for raising money for the repair was excellent. The priests were directed to set apart the regular income of the temple, and also to go through the country, among their acquaintances, and raise a general subscription. Each priest was to present the case to his personal friends. There could be no better plan. This is the simple scriptural method by which religion is extended. Every Christian is to go among his friends and acquaintances, and enlist them one by one.

5. The most excellent plans may fail. The plan of Jehoash failed. The failure lay immediately at the door of the priests. These good men seem to have shared the want of interest of Jehoiada in the work. They failed to collect the popular tax. And instead of using the collections which they made for the purpose for which they were raised, they expended them for current needs, and for furniture which needed to be replaced, candlesticks, tongs, and spoons.

6. A new and poor plan succeeded. His patience at length worn out, the king called a conference, discovered how things had been mismanaged, and changed his course. He learned that, notwithstanding his order, the temple tax, the half-skekel, had not been collected. With the counsel of Jehoiada, he had a collection chest placed at the gate of the temple; he stopped the private subscriptions, and had a proclamation issued, calling upon the people throughout the nation to pay the ancient tax of Moses. Simply the uniform sum fixed by Moses was required from all. The princes were not permitted to pay more; the poorest man might not pay less. The confidence of the king in the people was justified. The chest rapidly filled, and, when it was emptied, was refilled again and again. The plan was a very poor one: one of the very poorest which man has ever devised, this of a box at the church door. It succeeded because the people were interested to get the work done. It is of interest to note that, when the repair was completed, enough money was left to r furnish the temple throughout with vessels of silver and gold.

7. The depth of the reformation in the nation is shown in what is said of the honesty of Joash's master-workmen. The taxes, as they were taken from the chest at the gate of the temple, were put into the hands of these men to pay out in wages, and, moreover, they reckoned not for materials with the men into whose hands they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen; for they dealt faithfully. This is most extraordinary. This was one of the times when Israel had a dim realization of the coming millennium, when Holiness should be written on the bells of the horses, when public money could be trusted to officials, high and low, with such confidence that they would deal faithfully that they were not required to give any account.

(Monday Club Sermons.)

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,

The Repairing of the Temple Under Joash: a Missionary Sermon
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