Posted by: arieliondotcom | May 31, 2013

Repairs in Righteousness (2 Kings 12)

Repairs in Righteousness
(2 Kings 12)

There are two important things to remember when reading this chapter. The first is literary. Although you can’t tell from my descriptions, the books of 1 & 2 Kings are meant to be summaries. So there are details that are not included here but are described in the Book(s) of Chronicles. This cross-referencing is in much of the Old Testament, like footnotes or hyperlinks in documents today. That cross-referencing is important, as we’ll see, or the story won’t make much sense.

The second important point is that a righteous heart always produces righteous actions but righteous-looking actions don’t equal a righteous heart…Herod rebuilt the Temple for the Jewish people not as an act of love for GOD or Judaism, but as political appeasement to keep the Jewish people peaceful. So if you are a Christian it is important to remember that good works cannot save you or make you righteous. But when you notice a lack of good works in your life, like a plant that doesn’t grow or a light that doesn’t work, it is a sign, a symptom, there is something wrong with your relationship with GOD.

Those lessons are both key to today’s chapter because Jehoash the boy king raised by the high priest while hidden in the Temple grew up. As he rules the tribes of Judah and Levi from Jerusalem, everything seems well. His idol worshipping grandmother is dead, killed by the high priest. And the damage she and her fellow idol worshippers did by taking from the Temple to offer to their idols is being repaired. This is from a collection the king has the priests take from the people, in keeping with the LORD’s law and the free will of the people. When the king simply tells the priest to do it, though, it doesn’t get done.

Saying “I’ll do it, when needed” is not enough. We must set up a routine for our Spiritual refreshment and schedule as an important appointment in our daily lives. The only thing that will keep your Spiritual house repaired are daily inspections with GOD. It’s like inspecting a house, with prayer (consulting GOD, the Builder) and His plans (the Bible).

When I was a new Christian we called this daily time of prayer and Bible Study “Quiet Time”, anything from 15 minutes to an hour each day set apart alone with GOD. And if you’re married, it’s fine for some of this time to be done together. But split the time so that at least part of it, before you come together, is alone with GOD. This will make your time together even richer.

Without a plan in place, though, the King’s collection & repairs weren’t done. He had to produce a system and this system included physical reminders and procedures involving other people. In the case of your Spiritual renewal or Quiet Time sessions you should have a place set aside, a specific time marked on your calendar and let others who need to get on your calendar for that time know that it is blocked off.

Some say this is legalism. Is spending time with the person you love Legalism? No. You do it out of love. But you know you must schedule your time or your time with the one you love will suffer. This is no different. If you have a healthy relationship with GOD you’ll want time alone with Him. Like any relationship, or even a house or Temple, maintenance is a part of life.

And once the system is in place, everything goes great. A collection box is put in a prominant place by the Temple door. It’s convenient, self-explanatory, and user friendly as any system should be. The collections come in, they’re fairly divided and the repairs get made. And then the High Priest, Jehoiada, dies of old age.

And here is where that cross reference to 2 Chronicles comes in. Without that reference it looks like the Syrians attack for no reason, the good king gives away the Temple treasury as a bribe and he’s killed off by his own servants for no reason. But as an old reporter, Paul Harvey, was famous for saying, “Here’s the REST of the story”…(from 2 Chronicles.)

After the death of the High Priest, things go terribly wrong. The boy king had only done what was right for the LORD because of the influence of the High Priest. Though there was still worship going on on the mountaintops, that may have been worship to GOD, not to idols, at least not yet. It was wrong not to worship at the appropriate place. As we’ve seen, if nothing else it meant some money wasn’t coming into the Temple. But now that the High Priest is dead idol worship starts cropping up again and the king’s sons convince the king to join them in it.

GOD sent prophets, including Zechariah, the son of the High Priest, to warn the king and the people to stop worshipping idols. But they wouldn’t. In fact, the king kills Zechariah instead. As he is dying, stoned to death in the Temple court, Zechariah calls the LORD to avenge his death.

So GOD uses the King of Syria to attack Judah. The King of Judah is such a coward that he sends all of the Temple treasury and his own treasure and any treasure he has in the palace from his ancestors to bribe the King of Syria. But this seems to have only worked for a short time because Syria attacked again, as told in the reference to the Chronicles. This time they killed all the princes who had tempted the King of Judah to idol worship and took all they had. The Syrians were only a small army by this time, after all their other wars. But GOD gave the much larger army of Judah over to them in defeat because of their idol worship and the murder of Zechariah.

The King of Judah is hurt and goes to his bed to recover. But servants kill him in his sleep.

We cannot inherit holiness from any human. Jehoash could imitate the righteous acts of the High Priest. He could obey what he was told to do by the High Priest and seem holy. But he didn’t have holiness in him. Only the Holy Spirit can give holiness through a changed heart.

We may be raised by Christians, may have literally grown up in a church as the child of a minister. But unless the Holy Spirit gives us a new heart as a result of our belonging to JESUS Christ, we cannot have eternal Life.

We can only inherit holiness as children of GOD, adopted into His family through giving our lives to Christ because we accept that He gave His Life for us. His Holy Spirit then gives us a new heart, the Mind of Christ, and the desire from the inside out, to do what pleases Him. But as long as we’re on this side of death, we will sin from time to time. That’s why we need daily time alone with GOD for JESUS to remind us of what He has done for us, gives us, and has prepared for us at Home. Only the Holy Spirit can repair our righteousness, from the inside out.

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