“Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places. This was the sin of the house of jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth”.
1 Kings 13:33, 34 NIV
What an awful and tragic event is taking place in this time of history! Jeroboam, single handedly, was putting into motion the events that would subsequently lead to a entire nation’s downfall and destruction from the face of the earth.
We find here in this section of the Word of God, that Jeroboam came to the throne and was given an opportunity to really serve God. This opportunity however, was tragically removed because of his fear. Jeroboam had a fear that the tribes of the newly formed nation of the north would go back to Jerusalem in the southern kingdom of Judah to worship. This, Jeroboam thought, would reunite the two kingdoms. Jeroboam desired to keep them both separate. As a way of keeping the two kingdoms separate, he sets up golden calves for them to worship and he appoints priests from outside of the tribe of Levi.
Jeroboam and the the entire northern kingdom of Israel suffered awful consequences as a result of these sins. Even though the consequences were not immediate, Jeroboam and the entire northern kingdom of Israel did not get away with their actions and subsequently, these events led to the destruction of the northern kingdom.
There are many lessons to be learned from Jeroboam’s life. As I read through these passages of Scripture, I found myself wondering how many great opportunities God has given me to share His love with the world, and instead of following the guidance of the Holy Spirit in my life, I ended up destroying those great opportunities because I made excuses and acted in my own selfishness instead of the promises that God makes in His Word.
I want so desperately to honor God with all of my heart and do it every day of my life. I find however, that so many times I get so frustrated and discouraged at those times in my life when I decide to take over God’s role in a situation and do things my way instead of His. I find that I am especially vulnerable to these sins during trials and difficulties or when I am feeling sad or depressed.
I know that God’s love for me is unfailing and very real. I must not think I ever have the answers to any situation, big or small, happy or sad, apart from His amazing love and incredible grace. I must also recognize my daily and very frequent need to to admit those times in my life that I lean on my own strength and constantly ask God to restore me to fellowship with Him. Finally, I must never be fooled into thinking that there are no consequences to foolish decisions I make, just because I do not see disaster happen right away. God’s Word is clear. There are ALWAYS consequences to sin and the very worst of these consequences is grieving the Holy Spirit and being out of fellowship with Him.
Lord, I thank you with every part of my heart, that you are an unending fountain of love and grace. You are always faithful, all the time, even when I am faithless. Even in my weakness and frailty, you still allow me the awesome privilege of coming before your beautiful throne of grace, that I may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. What an amazing God you are! You are so merciful and good, so loving and caring, so omniscient, all-powerful, all knowing and so completely and perfectly pure and lovely. You are the author of everything holy and beautiful, you are the unsearchable Ancient of Days and you are MY GOD!
You love me so perfectly and completely despite my sin, my weaknesses, my imperfections. Lord, I confess my desperate need for you. I pour all of myself before you and ask you to fill me to overflowing with your mercy and grace. I am nothing apart from you. I cast my burdens on you and ask you to completely search every single area of my life and every corner of my heart. Help me Lord, to empty myself of all the emptiness that I cling so tightly to, and help me to trust in you alone with every fiber of my being. Take all of this anxiety, worry and fear and take this existence and use me for your glory.
I kneel before you, Lord and I offer this vessel and I want you to know that I love you. I want to show the world that I love you and that you are the most important part of my life. I can only accomplish this if I follow you and cling so tightly to your hand as a helpless child, never forgetting the nail scarred hands and feet that you paid out of love for me. Help me Lord to never lose sight that you are God, who is rich in mercy, with the great love that you have loved me with, even when I was dead in my trespasses, you have made me alive together with your beautiful Son, who paid the ransom for me.
I love you!