Have you ever joyfully paid your taxes? Not many people have, me included. But there were times when I was a reporter that seeing how tax money was being used brought me great joy, and I have been thankful for taxes during many a walk down public sidewalks. But a lot of people don’t see taxes the way I do, and I don’t blame many for not trusting those in charge of our tax dollars. However, I hope this chapter provides a good example of how paying taxes (You can also think of this in terms of tithing. In fact, please, think of this in terms of tithing.) can bring much joy. Hezekiah, in a glorious fashion, actually gives us a simple lesson in giving. His actions and the people’s responses make me think of several taxes levied in my hometown to improve our public schools. It seemed almost every other year a new tax bond was proposed, but few people EVER complained about paying a tax that supported our schools. And you could almost see the joy in people’s faces when they attended sporting events or school functions. I’m betting many people were thinking what my dad sometimes spoke out loud (in a humble, teaching way, of course), which was, “I helped pay for this school.” And like my dad, I’m betting every single person who ever thought that thought did it out of joy not out of pride. Well, maybe some were a little prideful, but I think most of my hometownsfolk just wanted to see good things continue for their kids and grandkids and future great-great-grandkids, who are now inheriting the same hallways and gym and cafeteria I once roamed around in. Now, if that resonated with you at all, take a look at how the Israelites responded to King Hezekiah’s complete turnaround of Judah: they gave … generously (v. 4). And in turn, those gifts were shared with others. They supported every Levite who was purified a couple chapters ago when Hezekiah decided to honor the words written in the scroll his men found. And no one complained. Well, I’m sure a few people complained, but for the most part, King Hezekiah’s plan of restoration through giving was a success.
Writing prompt: giving
I am absolutely positive I could have elaborated more on the topic of tithing and the joy it brings, but I am hoping that message is inferred. If it’s not, break it down in your writing today: look at how King Hezekiah’s “tax” plan benefited so many. Relate it to an event with which you are familiar, and most importantly, place God in the center of everything that took place. And if by nature you’re not a giver, give it a try.