2 Kings 12:17-18 (NIV) 17 About this time Hazael king of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem. 18 But Joash king of Judah took all the sacred objects dedicated by his predecessors—Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and Ahaziah, the kings of Judah—and the gifts he himself had dedicated and all the gold found in the treasuries of the temple of the Lord and of the royal palace, and he sent them to Hazael king of Aram, who then withdrew from Jerusalem.
This was a king who as a small baby had been preserved from the murderous intent of his own grandmother. The wife of the priest had hidden him for six years before presenting him as king. His life was of significance, having been preserved for his appointed time, but he failed to fulfill his role in very critical ways. Although he attempted to make repairs to the temple of God, it took more than twenty years for this to be carried out. In the meantime, he allowed there to be continued offering of sacrifices in the high places. This apparent lack of honor for God possibly led to a treasonous response to a threat against his kingdom.
Although it had been his right from birth, he failed to perceive his true identity as a descendent of the great kings before him and the God that had established the authority that was his. At the first threat from the king of Aram, rather than recognizing it as a threat to the covenant of his God that was his duty to defend, he chose appeasement. Instead of rising up to defend the treasures of his heritage with his life, he chose to attempt the preservation of something he would lose anyway by giving up all the wealth that was his responsibility to defend. At the time of adversity, for temporary reprieve, he quickly and easily handed over the treasures his predecessors had risked their lives for. The security his wealth might have provided in so many ways was placed in the hands of his enemy without even the least resistance.
There is a challenge for those who have been handed privilege, position and resources from birth. Somehow there is an elevation of their own life’s significance above the true substance that supports and enables their luxuries. When a threat arises that would challenge these personal comforts, there is an inability to perceive the true nature of the threat. It is easily accepted that by giving up the hard-fought-for treasures they’ve been handed, there will be relief from an immediate personal loss. The wealth they’ve done nothing to produce appears to be of lesser worth than any personal loss it might take to defend and preserve it. What they fail to see is that in handing over the treasure, there is acceptance of a much more devastating and permanent threat, not only to self, but to all descendants who would have also been beneficiaries of the sacrificed wealth.
For our nation in these days, there is a need for clear perception of true threats so that the long-term treasure of a birth right isn’t handed over for a mere breakfast.
For us as the people of God it is also necessary for the great treasures placed within us by the incredible purchase price of Jesus’ blood to not be effortlessly turned over to the very enemy that is out to destroy our eternal souls.
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