2 Kings 12:9-21

But Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in its lid and put it beside the altar, on the right side as one comes into the house of the Lord; and the priests who guarded the threshold put in it all the money which was brought into the house of the Lord. 10 When they saw that there was much money in the chest, the king’s scribe and the high priest came up and tied it in bags and counted the money which was found in the house of the Lord. 11 They gave the money which was weighed out into the hands of those who did the work, who had the oversight of the house of the Lord; and they [c]paid it out to the carpenters and the builders who worked on the house of the Lord; 12 and to the masons and the stonecutters, and for buying timber and hewn stone to repair the damages to the house of the Lord, and for all that was [d]laid out for the house to repair it. 13 But there were not made for the house of the Lord silver cups, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, any vessels of gold, or vessels of silver from the money which was brought into the house of the Lord; 14 for they gave that to those who did the work, and with it they repaired the house of the Lord. 15 Moreover, they did not require an accounting from the men into whose hand they gave the money to pay to those who did the work, for they dealt faithfully. 16 The money from the guilt offerings and the money from the sin offerings was not brought into the house of the Lord; it was for the priests.

17 Then Hazael king of Aram went up and fought against Gath and captured it, and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem. 18 Jehoash king of Judah took all the sacred things that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own sacred things and all the gold that was found among the treasuries of the house of the Lord and of the king’s house, and sent them to Hazael king of Aram. Then he went away from Jerusalem.

Joash (Jehoash) Succeeded by Amaziah in Judah

19 Now the rest of the acts of Joash and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 20 His servants arose and made a conspiracy and struck down Joash at the house of Millo as he was going down to Silla. 21 For Jozacar the son of Shimeath and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, struck him and he died; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David, and Amaziah his son became king in his place.

For a grandson of Ahab, Joash made such good progress on restoring the temple, but for some reason he just couldn’t commit to God wholeheartedly. It’s a tragic end for a boy who was raised in the temple around the priests who served God. But first we see weakness when Hazael is on the war path, and instead of turning to God for direction, Joash just sends Hazael every bit of treasure he can find. After all the hard work of the priests, the temple is stripped to placate Hazael.

He also never got rid of the high places, and one wonders then, was his work on the temple ever about God, or was it just in honor of his childhood “hiding place”? It’s possible he just wanted to restore the former glory of the temple to look like a wise and good king. But alas, it all comes undone in the end. Two of his own servants murder Joash, possibly upset by his lack of courage. Oddly neither tries to take the throne, but apparently they hoped his son would be a better king.

In any case, there’s no such thing as half-way with God. It’s a full-on commitment, and you can’t fool Him, even if you fool the people around Him. Joash’s lack of commitment to God and his lack of character caught up with him, and led to a tragic end. Be honest and straightforward in all you do, and don’t try to put on a facade, for you will surely be found out. Instead, live a life of integrity, and honor God in everything.

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