Where’s God? After so much focus on the involvement of prophets in the previous chapters, not one is mentioned here. Instead, we are assured that all “his life Joash did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight because Jehoiada the priest instructed him.” I got a feeling of contentment knowing that Joash’s reign would not be violent like many other kings we have met.
Joash tapped into the wisdom he’d been given in navigating the restoration project of the Temple of Lord. We’re not sure of the timeline, but we know he reigned 40 years. That’s the same of his ancestor, Solomon who originally had the temple built. (Fun fact!) Joash’s first attempt to provide a solution to funding the much-needed repairs was a failure. But he didn’t give up, and a better plan was instituted.
That’s a good reminder to us to never give up and to persevere. But I’m sure I would have changed course earlier than the 23 years it took Joash to regroup! Let’s not focus on the timeline but the fact Joash was interested in bringing honor back to the LORD. Shouldn’t that be our focus, too?
The temple had fallen into disrepair. I can just picture lots of dust, dirt, and tarnished gold. The splendor of the temple had vanished. The temple was meant to be a holy place, set apart for worship of God. Joash’s desire to refresh and restore the temple was pleasing to God. The filth that had built up over time speaks to how far the people had strayed from God.
When I think of how this reading applies to us today, I could go in two directions. I could reflect on the various church building projects my husband and I have been part of over the years. The desire was always to build something grand for the worship of God. I could also reflect on our own lives and what rebuilding our bodies, as the temple of the Holy Spirit, might need.
Since I’ve been on such a health kick over the past couple years, let’s go with our “temple bodies.” I’m not making this up. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” Makes total sense! If God is living inside me, I definitely want to make this “temple body” pristine and clean out the “gunk.” Agreed?
What sort of gunk is clogging your body from it’s best potential? I just finished eating a couple of super sugary cookies as a “treat.” Now I am feeling a bit guilty that I just ingested such “poison.” I am not a nutritionist, but I do know that sugary treats are not considered “healthy.”
The real question should be, “how am I going to honor God with my body?” First of all, we need to remember that our bodies are amazing creations and we should give God thanks for how beautifully they have been designed. We often look at the flaws rather than the beauty, never content with our own body image. Remember Psalm 139:14, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” Don’t let Satan to use your insecurities about your appearance to keep you distracted from loving God.
In addition to making healthy choices, as temples for the Holy Spirit we should strive to avoid sin. We can’t escape sin entirely, but that should be our desire. We should stay away from situations that make us weak (like having cookies in my drawer in the first place).
Take a look at the temple you have prepared for the Holy Spirit. What sort of rebuilding or regrouping needs to be done in your life?
Let’s pray …
Lord, I sometimes feel inadequate and unsure of my own abilities. Then I look to your greatness. I am in awe of your creation and how it all fits together. Thank you for the privilege of being your servant. I look forward to each new day, each new conversation with you. Speak to my heart so that I can draw closer to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.