TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Kings 12:25-33
TO CHEW ON: "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.' " 1 Kings 12:28
Jeroboam went to live in Schechem and ruled Israel from there. The prophet had told him he would be a successful king if he obeyed God. Even so, Jeroboam began to be afraid. His people would go back to Jerusalem to worship. What if traveling back to Jerusalem would make them want Rehoboam as their king again?
So Jeroboam made a plan to keep that from happening. Instead of encouraging the people to worship God in the temple in Jerusalem he set up calf idols nearby – one in Dan and another in Bethel. He told the people, "Here are the gods who brought you out of Egypt." Then he chose people who weren’t in the Levi tribe to be the priests. They offered sacrifices to the golden calves.
Jeroboam also invented new festivals. At festival time, the people now went to Dan or Bethel instead of Jerusalem. In no time the people who had chosen Jeroboam as their king had forgotten all about God and were up to their necks in idol worship.
Everything went along fine until Jeroboam’s son got sick. Jeroboam feared he would die. He got his wife to disguise herself and go to the prophet Ahijah – the one who, years earlier, had predicted he would be king.
By now Ahijah was an old man. But God still talked to him. Before Jeroboam’s wife arrived, God told Ahijah who was coming and what to say to her. When Jeroboam’s wife got there Ahijah greeted her by name. Then he gave her a message for Jeroboam, “God raised you up to be king,” he said. “But you haven’t followed His ways. Now know that as soon as your wife steps into your home, your son will die. And God will raise up another king in Israel to take the place of you and your family.”
How differently the story could have turned out if only Jeroboam had trusted God and done things His way, instead of worrying and making plans of his own.
PRAYER: Dear God, help me to trust You and follows Your ways, instead of making up my own way to do things. Amen.
SUPERSIZE IT: Straight paths
Are you ever tempted to do things your way instead of trusting that God’s way is best. Here is a verse to remind you to trust in God for everything. Write or print it out and put it up where you will see it often. It would be a good verse to memorize.