Lord, thank You that You are ever for me and that I can always turn to You.
Read 1 KINGS 12:21-33
 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered all Judah and the tribe of Benjamin-a hundred and eighty thousand able young men-to go to war against Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam son of Solomon.  But this word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God:  “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah, to all Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people,  ‘This is what the LORD says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.'” So they obeyed the word of the LORD and went home again, as the LORD had ordered.  Then Jeroboam fortified Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. From there he went out and built up Peniel.  Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David.  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.”  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.”  One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan.  And this thing became a sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other.  Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites.  He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made.  On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWho was first in Jeroboam's considerations?
God had promised blessing to Jeroboam if he remained faithful (1 Kings 11:37,38). Alas, from the start, Jeroboam rejects the Lord’s ways. He fortifies Shechem (12:25), which would become the first capital of the northern kingdom, but he anticipates that the people will want to return south to Jerusalem to worship. So, he builds two sites in the north, even constructing golden calves (26-30)–replaying the rebellion of Exodus 32.Not only does he make idols to be worshipped as gods, but he also introduces non-Levitical priests (31), possibly instituting himself as a priest, offering sacrifices and reorganizing the calendar of religious feasts (32,33). The giveaway line in verse 26 says that he “thought to himself.” The result is that his actions divert worship from the Lord and his Temple in Jerusalem. Jeroboam builds on practices that would have been familiar to the people, but uses religion for his own ends. That remains a familiar temptation–in the church or at work or in the home–to use our faith to fit with personal goals, to acquiesce to dominant trends rather than to go against the crowd.
Keep God’s Word before yourself–on the mirror, in the car, on the fridge. And keep it in your heart.
Father, You are the center and only when You are in Your rightful place do we know peace.
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