Did Jeroboam believe he was worshiping the Lord just at a new location or was he deliberately setting up rival worship?
If there was any question about the answer, Jeroboam appears to settle the question when he answered the ‘man of God’ who is the central focus of today’s chapter. In verse 6 the king said to the man of God, “Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before.
Jeroboam does not call the Lord his God. There is our answer… over the last two chapters we have watched Jeroboam set up rival worship for the 10 tribes of the northern kingdom.
God gave Jeroboam an opportunity to be faithful but he ‘spit in God’s face’ and rejected the Lord. How sad…. how sad for himself and for all the people of Israel who followed his lead.
The whisper of the Lord as I sit with Him today goes like this. “Be honest about who you worship.” The feasts looked the same, many of the practices looked the same, but Jeroboam was honest with himself. He was not worshiping the Lord God. He had established a rival god.
The Lord reminded me that if I am going to worship Him I must follow His Word and ways as given to us in the Bible. I am not free to make things up for myself as Jeroboam did.
Faithfulness to the LORD is essential…
Lord God, keep me close to Your Word. As my world changes and general behavior of my culture strays further and further from Your truth, help me to remain faithful to You and Your Word. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.