1 Kings 12:28 “Therefore the king asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt.”
Jeroboam knew he had no hereditary entitlement to the throne of Israel. And because he was insecure in his position as king over the 10 tribes of Israel, he feared that if the people went to Jerusalem to worship at the temple that they would turn back to following Rehoboam. The solution? Give the people something more convenient to worship and convince them that there is no need to do such a hard thing as travel to Jerusalem. Why go to all that bother when you can worship right here at home?
Listen to his words to the people: “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem.” Even though the temple in Jerusalem is where God said “I have consecrated this house which you have built to put My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.” (I Kings 9:3)
Jeroboam gave them a convenient alternative to real worship. And the people bought it and were led into idolatry which continued well beyond Jeroboam’s reign and eventually brought the judgment of God upon the nation.
I fear that we have not learned the lesson intended by this story. Still today there are those who preach a very convenient “Christianity”. There is no cross, there is no dying to self, there is no holiness, there is no Jesus.
Are we doomed to repeat the failures of the past? May God have mercy upon us and restore the real gospel of Jesus Christ to our churches. What a beautiful thing it would be to see altars flooded with those broken and repentant ones who will cry out, “Oh, that I may know Him!”
Please God, don’t let us be content to bow down to something convenient. Rescue us from the idolatry of our day.