2 Chronicles 31:9-21
Hezekiah was a man who was prepared to consult and ask advice (9, 10). He listened to others, and was aware that he didn’t know it all. This is a good trait in a leader. At the end of the day you don’t have to follow anyone’s counsel, but you can prayerfully weigh it. Why would anyone reject the wisdom of good and godly people? You would need good reasons.
When Hezekiah and his officials came and saw the heaps, they praised the LORD and blessed his people Israel (8). They were correct to first and foremost thank God for the generous giving. It clearly was a work of God to move the people to such generosity. It was right to thank the people, but you would have to say, ‘To God be all the glory.’ The object of looking after the priests and Levites so they could concentrate on their ministries (4) was clearly achieved (10) through this torrent of giving.
In addition to all the other good things we have seen about Hezekiah, we can say that he was a man who sought God and worked hard (21). He did what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God (20). Much of today’s passage highlights his prudence in storing the surplus, and his wisdom in ensuring there were good people who would get the resources fairly spread around (12-19).
What we do with our surplus is a challenge for us whether as individuals, churches or organisations. I remember hearing one church leader say how in good times in his church, he would ‘squirrel away’ spare funds and put them into an account for less prosperous days, when the church might need to ‘tighten its belt’. The wisdom of experience told him that church life is seasonal and the graphs are not always going upwards. I need to add that he wasn’t being ‘Scrooge’ – like in his behaviour. This church has a generous heart and allocates significant resources to mission and helping the poor. But on top of that he wanted to wisely prepare for rainy days.
For all of us, we are stewards of God’s property, and we need to look to Him to direct us in the use of His money.
One of the first signs of spiritual awakening is the generosity of those whose hearts God has touched. Nobody had to plead or urge; the giving came from the hearts of people who were right with God. Warren W. Wierbe: With the Word,p.250
Prayer: Lord, teach me to be generous, just as you are.