The Kingdom Torn Away. As Moses once led his people out from slavery under the Egyptian pharaoh, so Jeroboam now leads Israel out from “slavery” under the house of David; but “Jeroboam as Moses” is soon transformed into “Jeroboam as Aaron” as he fashions golden calves for Israel to worship. Such idolatrous worship will eventually result in disaster for Israel. (ESV Study Bible)
This passage today shows the sinful heart of people. The kingdom was divided, and there was much strife happening among the people. Perhaps the most telling demonstration of the condition of the people’s hearts is that they build and worship golden calves instead of God.
28 So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to thepeople, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, whobrought you up out of the land of Egypt.” 29 And he set one in Bethel, and the other he putin Dan. 30 Then this thing became a sin, for the people went as far as Dan to be before one. (ESV)
The king falsely gave credit to the man created gods bringing the Jewish people out of Egypt. Based on the quote at the top of this post, it should not surprise us that the Jewish people (or us) are quick to turn from the God of the Bible to counterfeit gods that are as powerful as the figments of our imaginations.
Paul David Tripp once wrote about an experience he had in India. He was touring the region and came across grotesque idols that people came from around the country to worship. He recalls a sense of superiority in being thankful that there was nothing in his life that he worshipped like those people. That superiority was quickly squandered when God brought to mind all of the other things in his life that he worshipped instead of God. Even though it was not something he was physically worshipping other than God, his heart was still worshipping counterfeit gods instead of the One True God.
What in your life do you worship other than God? Why are we so quick to forget the place that God rightly deserves in our hearts and instead worship idols instead?
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice