It’s amazing to me, how many people will spend $4 on a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or $25 to go to the movies, or $80 or $100 for a pair of tennis shoes, but who give grudgingly or not at all to the work of God. God is the One who weighs our hearts, but giving is one good indicator of our spiritual condition.
2 Chronicles 23 & 24
Giving: God Weighs the Heart
2 Chronicles 23 & 24:
Separation of Church and State?
Wicked Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, had killed all her grandsons and seized the throne in Judah. That is all except one, Joash, who was just an infant. His sister had hidden and protected him. John MacArthur says:
This is one of the most dramatic moments in messianic history. The human offspring of David have been reduced to one, Joash. If he had died, there would have been no human heir to the Davidic throne, and it would have meant the destruction of the line of the Messiah. However, God remedied the situation by providentially protecting Joash (2 Chr. 22:10–12) and eliminating Athaliah (1 Chr. 23:12–21).
When Joash was seven years old the High Priest, Jehoiada, and other faithful men stepped forward and began to set things right.
¹ In the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and made a covenant with the captains of hundreds: Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri. 2 And they went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the chief fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem.
3 Then all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And he said to them, “Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the Lord has said of the sons of David. (2 Chron. 23)
They protected and crowned Joash king and killed Athaliah. With Jehoiada’s wise and godly counsel the King restored the temple and temple worship and brought about a revival. Sadly, after the High Priest’s death Joash fell into apostasy, even killing Jehoiada’s son.
We hear a lot about separation of church and state, which by the way is not even in our Constitution. But did you notice who God used to preserve the last heir to the Davidic throne? It was the High Priest, Jehoiada, who was not afraid to get involved in civil matters like … who should be king.
In chapter 24 we see the king commanding an offering be taken up to support the work of God (2 Chron. 24.9]). Look how the people responded in verses 10-11:
10 Then all the leaders and all the people rejoiced, brought their contributions, and put them into the chest until all had given. 11 So it was, at that time, when the chest was brought to the king’s official by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, that the king’s scribe and the high priest’s officer came and emptied the chest, and took it and returned it to its place. Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance.
Notice “all the people rejoiced” that an offering was taken up. How do you respond when the offering is taken at your church? Do you rejoice in the opportunity to give to the work of God? Or do you give because you wonder what people will think or because you think God demands it? Do you give at all? Paul said:
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9.7).
And look at today’s reading in Proverbs …
The Lord Weighs the Hearts
Verse 2, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts.”
Our deceitful hearts can so easily allow us to justify our own selfish agendas. We can even appear very “spiritual” on the outside as we do it, but God sees our hearts!
It’s amazing to me, how many people will spend $4 on a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or $25 to go to the movies, or $80 or $100 for a pair of tennis shoes, but who give grudgingly or not at all to the work of God. Our giving is often one of the best indicators of our spiritual condition.
What a shame on the body of Christ that so few Christians give faithfully and generously to the work of God. If God’s people gave the tithe (10%) alone, which should be the least we do, there would be no shortages of buildings, schools or needed ministries.
Today’s Other Readings:
That They Would Know …
Notice that even in praying for God to defeat his enemies, the psalmist’s purpose was that the pagan nations would “know and glorify God.”
15 So pursue them with Your tempest,
And frighten them with Your storm.
16 Fill their faces with shame,
That they may seek Your name, O Lord.
17 Let them be confounded and dismayed forever;
Yes, let them be put to shame and perish,
18 That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord,
Are the Most High over all the earth.
The Value of a Teachable Spirit
Here we are introduced to a couple by the name of Aquila and Priscilla and a man by the name of Apollos. Aquila and Priscilla were tent makers like Paul and became his close associates in the ministry. In Acts 18.24 we meet Apollos. The passage says that he was “an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures.”
But his doctrine was off base, so Aquila and Priscilla took him aside and “explained to him the way of God more accurately.” A couple of verses later it says this about Apollos:
27 And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; 28 for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
This eloquent man, instead of being puffed up with pride, was teachable and that allowed God to use him in a greater way.
Lord, I pray that you “weigh our hearts” and show us any areas of pride or any other sin. Make us teachable so we can be more useful in your kingdom. Help us to become students of the Word and give us the grace to be faithful, cheerful givers. In Jesus name, amen.
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