2 Chronicles 24:13 (ESV) … “So those who were engaged in the work labored, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the house of God to its proper condition and strengthened it.”
Joash (king) commanded the Levites and the priests to go out and collect an offering for the repairing of the temple, for the temple had been damaged and pillaged during the evil reigns of his predecessors.
The priests and the Levites did not fulfill this commandment with enthusiasm, possibly because they felt that the redemption money should be brought into the temple by the offerers. Note the zeal for the offering and the success of the offering after the method of collection was changed. Note, also, that the repairing of the temple was given precedence over the furnishing of the temple, verse 14. The temple is greater than its furnishings,
Matthew 23:16 – 17 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?”
So God honored Jehoiada (high priest) with a long life and with an honorable burial because he throughout his life did good toward God and toward God’s house (the temple). God will honor us as Christians if we will throughout our life do good toward God and toward His New Testament house (the church).
Joash served God all the days of Jehoiada, 24:2, 14, but after Jehoiada’s death, he allowed his princes to turn him aside from God after idols.
Joash and the people of Judah refused to harken to the judgments of God and to the prophets of God. Then he and the people of Judah stoned Zechariah, a prophet who rebuked them in the name of God.
In the end, we discover that Joash slew Zechariah in the court of the temple, that Zechariah was the son of Joash’s benefactor, Jehoiada, and that Zechariah was calling upon the name of God when he was slain, verse 22.
In the New Testament we hear Jesus saying in Matthew 23:35, of the innocent blood of the Old Testament era as extending from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah. Why? Because the murder of Abel is recorded in Genesis, the first book in the Jewish canon, and the murder of Zechariah is recorded in Chronicles, the last book of the Jewish canon.
The lesson is a good start does not always guarantee a successful end. If we have put our hand to a good work of the Lord, we must stay the course lest we be led astray. Our aim should be to finish strong.