2nd Kings 12:4-16, 22:3,7 & 23:4-14
2nd Chronicles 24:4-14 & 34:8-13
In these passages we find two godly kings of Judah, Joash, son of Ahaziah, and Josiah, the great-grandson of King Hezekiah, commanding the priests to stop making their own repairs to the temple and start using temple funds to hire professional workmen to make the much needed repairs. These were the only renovations of Solomon’s Temple recorded in Scripture, and they seemed to be badly needed. Over the centuries since Solomon’s reign the temple had deteriorated and gone through periods of neglect, and worse, misuse, and the temple priests had been trying to make repairs themselves to save money; they were like the homeowner who was untrained in carpentry or masonry trying to make repairs to his home rather than call in a professional contractor.
I’ve been shown by the Spirit three lessons to learn from these essential repairs ordered by two great reformer kings of Judah:
The first lesson is that all the works of mortal man are doomed to decay and ultimately failure. All of our magnificent structures, from the massive pyramids of Egypt and Central America to the most modern of skyscrapers will someday be reduced to rubble. In the case of the pyramids of Giza it may take millenia (they are already roughly 5,000 years old), while in the case of skyscrapers it may only take a century or two. This natural decay of what we build can be delayed by diligent maintenance and repair programs, as in the case of the Great Wall of China or Western cathedrals, but ultimately the structure will fail. Nothing that is built “to last forever” actually will.
Second is the fact that the church often needs its own repair and restoration, and I’m not referring to church buildings. The Christian church as a whole, or the Body of Christ, has been described by the apostle Paul as “the temple of the living God” (2nd Corinthians 6:16), and therein lies the correlation. In 2,000 years of Christian history there have been many periods of decay in the form of straying from the truth, followed by periods of spiritual restoration. The Reformation in the 1500s is the best known restoration of the church to Gospel truth but not the only one. Many reformers came to prominence, from the time of the Arian controversy in the 4th Century through Wycliffe, Hus and Tyndale to the Great Awakening of the early 1800s and the revivalist movements of the 20th Century; all were repairs and renovations to the living temple of Jesus Christ.
And third, as individual believers we find ourselves in need of repair and renovation in the form of repentance and refreshment. Every believer occasionally hits dry spells when we need our Lord deeply, and sometimes we make mistakes and we sin in one way or another. That is when we need His renovation of our hearts and minds through repentance, prayer and the Scriptures. If we try to avoid His renovation we stay in a state of disrepair and decay, and while we might still seem impressive to others, upon closer inspection we see the scars and marks left by a harsh world. And only by humbling ourselves before God can we be restored like the temple of old. That’s when we once again become what He has called us to be so we can serve His purpose in a dying, desperate world.
Pray for each other always, my friends. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.