Today's Scripture is God’s promise to a man called Jeroboam.
How sad that King Solomon – David’s son– fell away from following God during his reign. Solomon left his kingdom to a weak godless son and the country came to a crisis. Civil war threatens – and this is when God commissions Jeroboam to become king over God’s people.
Jeroboam is hugely successful, hard-working, popular. He had known king Solomon’s favour and had everything going for him. And now God calls him to be king over Israel! God promises Jeroboam a dynasty like that of King David! The condition is simple: that Jeroboam should be obedient to God.
Jeroboam has God’s blessing, God’s mandate to be king over Israel. He is God’s man. And he is also the people’s choice. But, for David’s sake, the tribe of Judah remains as a separate kingdom. Jeroboam rules over eleven of the tribes.
Tragically … out of his fear, Jeroboam disobeys God. He becomes afraid of losing the support of his people. He fears that, if they return to Jerusalem to worship at the temple, they will soon want to return to their old allegiances and their old kingdom; the people will rebel against him and he will be rejected.
His solution: He sets up idol worship in Israel so that the people shouldn’t return to Jerusalem. When the crunch came, he couldn’t trust God. And he led the people into idolatry:
‘After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, ‘It’s too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel’.
This was a turning point in the history of God’s people.
This is such a sad story.
And I think to myself: What promises has God made to me? Have I been obedient to His promises, His calling to me – or have I turned away in fear? In unbelief?
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