“Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.”
II Chronicles 31:4
Great reforms were being seen in Israel under the godly leadership of King Hezekiah. The temple was being repaired and cleansed. Altars of idolatry were destroyed and the Passover was restored. Our text includes another of the changes that Hezekiah commanded. He ordered God’s people to bring the tithes to the priests and Levites as was required in the Word of God “that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.”
The priests and Levites were chosen from among the tribes of Israel to give themselves to the study and teaching of the Word of God and to the service of the sanctuary. They were, in turn, to be supported by the tithes and offerings of God’s people. However, because the tithes were being neglected, they were not able to devote themselves entirely to their primary duty. Instead, they would find it necessary to engage in secular occupations to care for their physical needs. To rectify this, Hezekiah “commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites.” This would be a great encouragement to God’s servants.
It is a privilege to be called to serve the Lord and to minister to His people. I personally owe a great debt to the faithful pastors and servants of God who have taught me the Word of God and watched for my soul. Hezekiah enforced changes that were designed to encourage God’s servants by allowing them more time to spend in the ministry of the Word of God. Christians probably think that their spiritual leaders do not need encouragement, but this certainly is not true. There are many helpful and thoughtful ways to encourage your preacher.
Every true servant of the Lord feels the need to spend time in prayer, Bible study, and ministering to the needs of people. One of the greatest ways we can encourage our pastor is to do things that free up his schedule to allow him more time with God and the gospel ministry. The pattern we find in our Scripture is still true in New Testament times. The faithful tithes and offerings of God’s people provide for the needs of His servants, that they might have more time to devote to the calling God has placed on their lives.