Joash and Accountability (2 Chronicles 24:4-14)
2 Chronicles 24:4-14:
“After this Joash decided to restore the house of the Lord. 5 And he gathered the priests and the Levites and said to them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and gather from all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that you act quickly.” But the Levites did not act quickly. 6 So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief and said to him, “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax levied by Moses, the servant of the Lord, and the congregation of Israel for the tent of testimony?” 7 For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God, and had also used all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord for the Baals. 8 So the king commanded, and they made a chest and set it outside the gate of the house of the Lord. 9 And proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to bring in for the Lord the tax that Moses the servant of God laid on Israel in the wilderness. 10 And all the princes and all the people rejoiced and brought their tax and dropped it into the chest until they had finished. 11 And whenever the chest was brought to the king's officers by the Levites, when they saw that there was much money in it, the king's secretary and the officer of the chief priest would come and empty the chest and take it and return it to its place. Thus they did day after day, and collected money in abundance. 12 And the king and Jehoiada gave it to those who had charge of the work of the house of the Lord, and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of the Lord, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the house of the Lord. 13 So those who were engaged in the work labored, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the house of God to its proper condition and strengthened it. 14 And when they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada…And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord regularly all the days of Jehoiada.”
There is a teachable lesson within this Old Testament example. King Joash recognizes the temple has been neglected and funds need to be raised “quickly.” Rather than a sense of urgency though, “the Levites did not act quickly” and Joash holds “Jehoiada the chief” accountable for the inaction (24:5-6). Thankfully, Jehoiada responds to the criticism with efficiency and the problem is corrected to the point there is “money in abundance” and “they restored the house of God to its proper condition” (24:11, 13).
There are times we may be afraid to say what is needed when it comes to financial neglect—both on an individual and corporate level. Yet, to tolerate it will only lead to continued problems. Leaders must not be afraid to speak up and those responsible for the neglect must respond to correct such shortfalls. May church leaders be willing to learn from the leadership of Joash when pressing needs call for action so the work of the church may continue uninterrupted and unimpeded by carelessness. We are “God’s temple” (1 Corinthians 3:16).