Dr. Randy White
"He gathered the priests and Levites and said to them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel to repair the house of your God annually, and you shall do the matter quickly.” But the Levites did not act quickly….So the king commanded, and they made a chest and set it outside by the gate of the house of the Lord. They made a proclamation in Judah and Jerusalem to bring to the Lord the levy fixed by Moses the servant of God on Israel in the wilderness." (2 Chronicles 24:5, 8-9, NASB95)
In the days of Joash the nation of Israel had strayed so far from the Lord that obedience did not come quickly. When the king instructed the priests to do what they should have been doing all along, they drug their feet. It was only when the King insisted through his command that the priests became obedient to the word of the Lord.
The specific command was to bring in the annual legal charge that each Israelite was to pay for the upkeep of the Temple. The annual Temple Tax was one-half shekel for each man age 20 and upwards, regardless of material wealth. For many years this tax had not been received and the temple was in a state of disrepair.
King Joash commanded that a chest be made and set outside the gate of the Temple. As the people came to the Temple, they placed their Temple Tax (and possibly back-taxes) into this chest. Collectively, they rejoiced to see that the Temple would be restored.
Many churches today have a “Chest of Joash” event in which the people bring free-will offerings to be used for the repair of the church building. While these have been successful in raising needed funds for needed projects, one should remember that the
New Testament Christian is—gratefully—not under the legal obligation that the Old Testament Jew was under. The Old Testament Israelites were fulfilling a legal obligation that had been ignored. The New Testament Christian is free from the law, all of the law!
There are many laws of the land which we obey reluctantly (think of those streets that have painfully slow speed limits!) But, living under grace, are there areas of the Spirit’s leadership which we are equally reluctant to obey? Being under grace brings the greater obligation! Why not make today a day of spiritual obedience?
In His Grace,
Dr. Randy White
For more solid Biblical teaching, including a daily radio broadcast from Dr. White, please visit Randy White Ministries.
For more solid Biblical teaching, including a daily radio broadcast
from Dr. White, please visit Randy White Ministries.