Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 12:10-11
During the later history of Israel, the priests became corrupt. Instead of using worshippers’ donations to maintain the Temple, they pilfered the money and divided it among themselves. But under the direction of Jehoash, one of the few kings “who did what was right in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 12:2), some priests with integrity devised an effective accounting system. A locked chest with a small hole in the top was installed in the Temple to receive the donations. When it got full, the high priest and the king’s secretary would open the chest together, count the money, and contract with carpenters, builders, masons, and stonecutters to make repairs. This ensured that the money was used for its proper purpose.
The same system is still in use today in places—such as when the cash deposited in automatic teller machines is counted. The principle that even trusted individuals must be subject to verification and accountability is the foundation of good management.
Whenever a person in power—especially the power of handling finances—tries to avoid verification, the organization is in danger. Because 2 Kings includes this episode, we know that God values the work of bank tellers, accountants, auditors, bank regulators, armored car drivers, computer security workers, and others who protect the integrity of finance. It also urges all kinds of leaders to take the lead in setting a personal example of public accountability by inviting others to verify their work.
How can you work with accountability?
Prayer: God, you notice and value work done with integrity, accountability, and transparency. Teach me to do my work with integrity that glorifies you. Amen.
For Further Exploration: Read The Southern Kingdom’s March Toward Exile (1 Kings 11:41-2 Kings 25:26; 2 Chronicles 16-36) from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.
Author: Theology of Work Project
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