Today’s passage: 2 Chronicles 31:1-21
- Revival took place. Often in the Chronicles, we have been told whether the kings of Judah tore down the high places or not. In this instance, King Hezekiah needed to do nothing. The people took care of destroying the idolatrous places themselves.
- The government can write righteous laws, but no government can generate sincere sanctification.
- According to the MacArthur Study Bible, if you add all the commanded tithes from the law and averaged them out annually, the amount would have been about 23% (There were two annual tithes and one every three years, hence the 23% figure). This 23% average was solely for the priests, Levites, the operation of the Temple and to help the poor. Any other taxes for the military or other needs would have been in addition to this.
- However, these tithes had not been received for some time. You could argue “taxes” may have gone up under Hezekiah, but the people were delighted to contribute because they supported the cause.
- A major benefit of the renewed tithes was that the priests and Levites were now able to focus their time and energy toward studying, teaching and leading the nation to follow the Word of God.
Questions to consider:
- The nation of Judah was repentant and growing in righteousness from the top-down (From the King/Government) and from the bottom-up (The people). Israel was originally a theocracy (God as king) and became a monarchy (Kings who were supposed to have considered themselves servants of the Lord to lead His people). Our country (The United States) is different…a country “by the people and for the people” with freedom of religion. How should this difference guide us in rightly nuancing our understanding of the role of the church and the way revival would look?
- What would revival in the church look like and how would it affect our community? Is the church an agent of change around us that works from the bottom-up or the top-down…or both? And how?
- Since Israel and Judah were to have a national religion that participated in the construct of the national governance, why would it make sense that we view the percentages of their tithes differently than we view our modern day taxes and offerings?