Joash Repairs the Temple (2 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 24:1 – 16)

Scripture Text:

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2 Kings 12

2 Chronicles 24:1 – 16

1. Who was a personal guide or mentor during your teen years? Are you still in touch with this person?

2. Have you ever challenged authority when it ran amok? How so? Did you win?

3. Which of these organizations do you give to regularly and which not at all? Why?

  • your church
  • your alma mater school
  • a world mission
  • a conservation organization

4. From whom did you learn your most useful skills (such as: sewing, reading, speaking, gardening, driving, cooking)?

5. Whom did Joash enlist to help him in this venture? Why do you think they were hesitant to help him at first? How did Jehoiada help?

6. What’s the connection between Joash and Jehoiada?

7. Is Joash’s project worthwhile? Why doesn’t Jehoiada cooperate? Who foots the bill for the repairs? How long does it take Joash to notice the work showdown?

8. Who wins in the confrontation between Joash and Jehoiada? Any damage to the relationship? Compare the report in 2 Kings 12 and 2 Chronicles 24. What major differences do you see?

9. How did Joash plan to finance his repairs? Whose legal precedent did he appeal to (see Exodus 30:12 – 16)? What was the response of the people to his plan?

10. Was Joash naive not to require an accounting of the money? Is such trust found anywhere today?

11. How did Joash use the money he raised at the temple? The excess? Who benefitted from the extensive repair work?

12. What was Joash’s apparent weakness (2 Kings 12:17, 18; 2 Chronicles 24:17 – 25)? Why would a king so eager to rebuild the temple give so much away to a foreign tyrant?

13. Why would a king who owes his very life and throng to Jehoiada murder that priest’s son? What does Joash lose besides his treasure?

14. Why don’t the officials who kill Joash assume power?

15. What was Jehoiada’s epitaph? In your opinion, did he deserve to be buried with the kings?

16. Who is the single most influential religious figure in your life? How has he or she helped you remain faithful to God the way Jehoiada did for Joash?

17. What would excite you about giving money to a church? What turns you off?

18. How could a person whose life centered around the temple end on such a downbeat? For what apparent reasons do you see leaders (in church and state) not remaining true to their initial calling?

19. Are you a role model for someone younger than you? How do you feel about living up to their expectations? What are the pitfalls of being a mentor?

20. Are you trying to establish your independence (as did Joash, the boy king), in relation to Jehoiada? What role does God play in the process of “becoming your own person”?

21. Are you as trusting with your money as Joash was with his? When you delegate work without supervising, what happens? If you don’t inspect, what can you expect?

Blessings For God’s People (Joel 3:17 – 21)

Scripture Text:

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Joel 3:17 – 21

1. How does the word “then” (“so”) relate this passage to the previous passages in Joel? How are God’s judgment and salvation linked? Justice and mercy? Hope and despair?

2. What message does Joel intend with the contrasting images of 3:18, 19? How is one like “Paradise Lost” and the other “Paradise Regained”? How can one event pronounce irrevocable doom and promise such as abundant blessing (see Psalm 107:33 – 36)?

3. How does the last promise (verse 21, offering forgiveness and fellowship) relate to the specific situation of Israel which prompted these oracles (chapters 1 and 2) in the first place?

4. If the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem made it holy (verse 17), then what does the Lord’s presence in your life mean? What evidence is there of this?

5. If your privacy or property has been invaded one or more times (as with Israel), what comfort do you draw from Joel? How can the fountains of God’s blessings heal the wounds inflicted by those invaders?

6. How can you imitate Joel today?

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The Nations Judged (Joel 3:1 – 16)

Scripture Text:

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Joel 3:1 – 16

1. What “lost fortune” would you like to see returned to you? How might you get it back?

2. What is your favorite anti-war slogan?

  • peace is disarming
  • arms are for hugging, not war
  • one nuclear bomb could ruin your whole day
  • make love not war

3. Which slogan fits how you maintain peace in your life?

4. “In those days” (verse 1) refers to when? Explain your answer.

  • sometime after Joel but before Christ
  • after Christ but before now
  • a time yet to come
  • all of the above
  • nothing specific

5. For what five things will the nations be judged (verses 2 and 3)? How will they be “repaid”?

6. The “valley where the Lord judges” (verses 3 and 12) is not a known geographical site. What then might Joel intend by naming such a place?

7. Why are the nations to be judged called to prepare for war (verses 9 – 11), only to meet the Lord’s warriors? What is the outcome of that war (verse 13)?

8. Is that outcome determined more by human decision “in the valley”? Or by divine fiat from where God sits?

9. Compare verse 10a with Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3. Why do you think Joel reversed that traditional prophetic vision of peace?

10. If not peace, what promise from Joel can God’s people count on (verse 16c)?

11. Reflect on how people might be “sold” or “traded” Is prostitution or child pornography a problem in your community? Likewise, refugee relocation and prisoners of conscience? What do you suppose God thinks of this?

12. How do you respond to Joel saying, “God will return on your heads what you have done”?

13. Does Joel disturb your image of God? How so? Does your image of God allow, preclude or demand this kind of judgment on sinful nations or persons?

14. What “payback” schedule are you on with creditors? With God?

15. When (if ever) have you felt slain in the “Valley of Decision”? When have you felt secure in the Lord’s stronghold? What would get you out of the valley into the stronghold?

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