May 14, 2017 – Renewal and Treachery in Judah: Will David Ever Come?
Preacher: Rev. Charles Drew
Sermon Series: Changing World, Unchanging God
2 Kings 12:1-21 (ESV)
1 In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. 2 And Jehoash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all his days, because Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 3 Nevertheless, the high places were not taken away; the people continued to sacrifice and make offerings on the high places.
4 Jehoash said to the priests, “All the money of the holy things that is brought into the house of the Lord, the money for which each man is assessed—the money from the assessment of persons—and the money that a man’s heart prompts him to bring into the house of the Lord, 5 let the priests take, each from his donor, and let them repair the house wherever any need of repairs is discovered.” 6 But by the twenty-third year of King Jehoash, the priests had made no repairs on the house. 7 Therefore King Jehoash summoned Jehoiada the priest and the other priests and said to them, “Why are you not repairing the house? Now therefore take no more money from your donors, but hand it over for the repair of the house.” 8 So the priests agreed that they should take no more money from the people, and that they should not repair the house.
9 Then Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in the lid of it and set it beside the altar on the right side as one entered the house of the Lord. And the priests who guarded the threshold put in it all the money that was brought into the house of the Lord. 10 And whenever they saw that there was much money in the chest, the king’s secretary and the high priest came up and they bagged and counted the money that was found in the house of the Lord. 11 Then they would give the money that was weighed out into the hands of the workmen who had the oversight of the house of the Lord. And they 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, as well as to buy timber and quarried stone for making repairs on the house of the Lord, and for any outlay for the repairs of the house. 13 But there were not made for the house of the Lord basins of silver, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, or any vessels of gold, or of silver, from the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, 14 for that was given to the workmen who were repairing the house of the Lord with it. 15 And they did not ask for an accounting from the men into whose hand they delivered the money to pay out to the workmen, for they dealt honestly. 16 The money from the guilt offerings and the money from the sin offerings was not brought into the house of the Lord; it belonged to the priests.
17 At that time Hazael king of Syria went up and fought against Gath and took it. But when Hazael set his face to go up against Jerusalem, 18 Jehoash king of Judah took all the sacred gifts that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah his fathers, the kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own sacred gifts, and all the gold that was found in the treasuries of the house of the Lord and of the king’s house, and sent these to Hazael king of Syria. Then Hazael went away from Jerusalem.
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 in the house of Millo, on the way that goes down to Silla. 21 It was Jozacar the son of Shimeath and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, who struck him down, so that he died. And they buried him with his fathers in the city of David, and Amaziah his son reigned in his place.
Introduction: Life can be wonderful, but there are always disappointments. Our story, unfolding in Israel’s southern kingdom (Judah), has its disappointments. They remind us of our own.
I) The Back Story
A) A great dream arising from God’s promise to David
2 Samuel 7
B) Life under Joash
- Not like life in the northern kingdom
- Faithfulness to God everywhere
- Could this be the rising of David’s promised “son”?
II) Flies in the ointment
A) The people
v. 3: The high places were not taken away.
B) The priests
v. 6: By the 23rd year of King Joash the priests had made no repairs
Pastors and people who don’t care (enough) about whether God is real in one another’s lives
- Thinking about worship
C) Syria and the king’s servants
D) Thinking about our own stories
II) Looking past Joash
It is possible to be realistic without being hopeless
Thinking about Jesus
- Like Joash
- Unlike Joash
Zeal for God’s house consumed him
Death at the hands of his servants was no surprise
Take away: Bring our “flies in the ointment”—small and great—to the king who died and rose.
Questions for Reflection
- Life can be wonderful—but there are always “flies in the ointment.” Recall some stories or circumstances in which something good or hoped for was spoiled or compromised by a problem—either a problem in you or a problem in the circumstances.
- How do you cope with life’s disappointments?
- Read the promise to David in 2 Samuel 7:12-16. Where, especially in the early days of Joash’s reign, do you see elements of this promise being fulfilled? Imagine you are Joash’s aunt Jehosheba (2 Kings 11:1-2): you had risked your life to save him, and now he was king, repairing the temple and walking with the Lord under Jehoiada’s tutelage. How do you feel?
- This story of renewal is haunted by disappointments. Note them: v. 3, v. 6, vv. 17-18, v. 20. Imagine again that you are Jehosheba, and that you live to see the entirety of Joash’s reign. How would you feel at the end? What sorts of questions would you have for God?
- The problem during the renewal under Joash was that the peoples’ hearts, and eventually his heart, were not fully invested in that renewal. “Zeal for God’s house (both the building and the people) did not consume either him or them.” Try to identify half-heartedness towards God and his church in yourself. Talk to God about the problem.
- What would it look like, in practical terms, for you to be zealous about meeting God, and helping those you love, meet God at Sunday worship?
- Compare Joash to Jesus. How is Jesus both like and unlike him? Compare the quality of their zeal for the house of the Lord (See John 2:17). Compare their deaths and the relative impact of them. Compare the measure to which each of them fulfills the promise to David in 2 Samuel 7.
- How does Jesus provide a satisfying solution to life’s disappointments, small and great? Thank him.
Prayer of Confession
Faithful God, how privileged we are to live after the coming of your Son. What our brothers and sisters could see only vaguely we see in its surprising fullness. You have become our everlasting King by submitting to our treachery, bearing our guilt, and rising victorious from sin and death. You are for us, and nothing can now be against us. We confess that we still struggle to make this story the center of our own. We confess that we still doubt your steadfast love. Too quickly we forget your promises; too readily we forget your cross and its meaning; we live too much by what we see and hear; we hope too much in what we accomplish. Forgive our unbelief. Forgive the harmful choices and ugly attitudes that arise from it. We pray in the name of Jesus, by whose suffering and triumph we have been brought safely home to you. Amen.