Skip to content

WHAT WOULD MAKE ONE CHOSEN, SELECTED AND EQUIPPED BY GOD BECOME A HALLMARK OF EVIL?

Quotes

  • To give glory to God is to reckon God to be what he is and to rely upon his power and faithfulness. (John Murray)
  • Soli Deo gloria is about God and how he glorifies himself, but one magnificent way God glorifies himself is through glorifying us and enabling us to glorify him through faith, worship, and wholehearted service to him and our neighbors (David Van Drunen).
  • Many are Christians in the same sense they could be Muslims, Buddhists, or Hindus—believing in God or the gods, affirming a set of beliefs, practicing religious routines, and assuming their faith will produce good results in their lives. But Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus do not expect to experience a living, life-changing, personal Lord. (Jim Denison)
  • Christ is not valued at all unless He is valued above all (St. Augustine)
  • Truth must be spoken, however it be taken (John Trapp)
  • If the Church is not (discipling), then all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, even the Bible, are a waste of time (C.S. Lewis)

Text

TEXT: 1 Kings 11: 29 ‘About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem, and Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh met him on the way, wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone out in the country , . . 31Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s and  give you ten tribes. . . 37 However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel. 38 If you do whatever I command you and walk in obedience to me and do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you

1 Kings 12   26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. 27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.”28 After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

The story of King Jeroboam reminds us of the dangers of the thoughts one entertains after being chosen by God and given privileges beyond one’s imagination.  He was a man of excellence who King Solomon had promoted (1 Kings 11:26-28). God chose him and promised to be with him. Unfortunately, he ‘thought to himself’ and what he thought, and meditated on, led to mistrust of God. He lost sight of who God and  he took charge. He took action as his thoughts guided him, and dethroned God from his life. Why would a man who not only has God’s word, but has manifestation of the word, allow himself to think thoughts that magnify his fears?

THOUGHTS CAN OVERPOWER WHAT ONE KNOWS

Authority – In the case of Jeroboam the thoughts brought in the images of losing the power that God had given him. He momentarily forgot that it was God who chose him and gave him ten of the twelve tribes of Israel. That meant he blurred his view of the worthy ship of God. His lingering thoughts led him to think he was in charge of his life. His thoughts became his source of authority.  His greatest fear was loss of power as his mind told him. These are people ,given the opportunity by God, yet who allow their minds to deceive them. They start viewing other Christians as a threat to be avoided and evaded or punished.

Strategy – While appearing to be worshipping God, his real motive was to stop the Jews from going to Jerusalem which he perceived as a threat. On the surface, he was making it easier for the people. It is good to examine oneself when comfort and ease become the reason for the choice of where to worship. It is possible to have a very good structure with clarity on who reports to who. The question is whether that strategy is from God or just what people have come up with. Watch out before misleading God’s people by keeping them so busy, thinking they are in ministry, but they are just fulfilling cultural strategy not God’s design.  When God places a person in a position of influence, such as a teacher, pastor, legal officer, politician, among others, and then the person loses the sight of who God is, the temptation to come up with a strategy that enable them meet their ‘hunger is real. This is what has led to “giving 2 percent of their income, attending 4 out of 5 Sundays and participating in 1 or 2 mission projects a year to be the standard for a disciple. In fact, in many places that makes you “elder” material.” (Bill Couchenour).  Acceptance of standards that do not lead to the biblical expectation of the life of a Christ-follower is due to loss of sight of who God is. Might the ease in worship brought about by Coronavirus be a subtle way to stop the gathering of God’s people?

The Object of worship – One of the greatest temptations that face God’s people is setting up a god they can touch. In great details the second commandment makes it clear that no aids should be used to worship God, not even pictures. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments”. (Exodus 20:4-5).  The king set up objects and declared that they are the ones that took the people out of Egypt. Leaders, pastors, teachers can come up with explanations of why objects and systems that they have come up with are holy.  This is one sin that cut off people from inheriting God’s blessing.

Novelty – Jeroboam was bringing freshness to the people. They did not have to keep doing things the same way or singing the same old hymns, reciting the creed, and having bible readings.  Jeroboam was meeting people’s craving for newness and originality.  Yes, unique ways of worshipping are good but not when they are changing God’s instructions. “Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places” (1 Kings 13: 33b).  Every newness must be viewed against God’s command; otherwise it’s looking similar to the true worship that God has commanded in His word does not make it right. Immorality, greed, selfishness have quietly slipped among God’s people as they seek to be ‘modern’. Gradual sapping of strength from within is a threat to faith that is perhaps even more dangerous than any attempt to assault religion violently from without.

Jeroboam, though deeply entrenched in the religious systems that he had devised that seemed like worship of God, deep within him he knew God had the power.  He knew that he had become king because God had sent his prophet to anoint him. When his son fell ill, he asked his wife to disguise herself and go to find out God’s word from the prophet Ahijah. “At that time Abijah son of Jeroboam became ill, and Jeroboam said to his wife, “Go, disguise yourself, so you won’t be recognized as the wife of Jeroboam. Then go to Shiloh. Ahijah the prophet is there—the one who told me I would be king over this people” (1 Kings 14:1-2).  It is self-deception to think that one can control the events of life. To Jeroboam, God was deaf, blind, and lame but still having power to know what will become of the king’s sick son.  A lifestyle bent toward self-service, self-interest and self-fulfilment changes on the day of worship. The tone of voice and facial expression take a different shape as people appear as self-sacrificing, self-denying and selfless. Such are contradictory thoughts when the worship of God is mixed with other beliefs.

King Jeroboam made Israel sin because his knowledge of God became suspect.  The king did worship, he was a religious man and so in the eyes of the people he was doing what was right.  That means it is possible to be religious and even be a leader in religious activities, but deep inside one is disconnected from God. This is a sin that is close to any believer who has been given the privilege of being a child of God. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”(1 John 3:1). All it takes to fall into the sin of Jeroboam is to have thoughts that doubt God’s sovereignty and love.  In what may seem like normal, one takes over the responsibility for their unknown future. Rationalization, as one listens to what is popular ,becomes accepted in the mind and then in action.  The sin of allowing thoughts that did not magnify God, made king Jeroboam lead the people to disregard God. As a result, he had no future. “Because of this, I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel—slave or free” (1 Kings  14:10).  Thoughts, just thoughts, can make all the investments have no one to inherit because God has removed His blessing on a person. It is not change that causes a person to sin, it simply reveals what is inside.  The sin of allowing thoughts that dethrone God from one’s heart, while in a position of influence, misleads others and God is dishonored while people are still very religious.  That sin removes people from God’s inheritance. King Jeroboam had no male descendants survive him.  If the thoughts you are thinking to yourself became the thoughts of the majority of the people, would God be honored?

“You as a follower of Christ have been chosen to be a royal priesthood. You minister with authority, you will one day rule and judge this earth; you fight the battles on behalf of the kingdom. You of all people, have an intimate relationship with the Father. You intercede for people and teach them God’s word” (Gregory Brown)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *