I’ve been reading today in 1 Kings 12 about Jeroboam, the first king of Israel once the kingdom was divided after Solomon’s death. This man Jeroboam had no royal lineage. He had been a common man serving under King Solomon, recognized for his diligence and promoted to a position of responsibility. But God had other plans for him and sent a prophet to tell him of his future as king of ten tribes of Israel. Upon the death of Solomon, Jeroboam came forward to claim what God had promised to him and he began to reign over ten tribes just as the Lord had told him.
But Jeroboam was fearful that this position would be taken from him, and that if the people returned to Jerusalem to worship the Lord that their hearts would turn back to Rehoboam, king of Judah. To remedy this he had two golden calves setup – one in Bethel and one in Dan – and he installed priests at these high places that were not from the tribe of Levi. In order to protect his kingdom, he led a whole nation into idolatry. One must wonder why he felt the need to do this since the kingdom had been given to him by God. Did he not believe that God was able to establish and protect the throne that He had placed Jeroboam upon?
But is it not human nature…can we not see it in ourselves at times…..to grasp and greedily cling to things, and to utilize whatever means are available to retain them?
Our ministry….our gifting….our position…..our reputation….all our little kingdoms that we desperately cling to and fight to protect lest someone tear them from our hands. And the tighter our grip becomes the more obvious is the ugliness of our covetous heart. And the closer we are to idolatry.
But how beautiful to have this heart, as John the Baptist, “a man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven” (John 3:27). Faithfully treasuring those things entrusted to us now, but holding them loosely. That which we have today could be gone tomorrow, and if we have placed our hope in anything but the Lord Jesus Christ we will find ourselves clinging to things that are unworthy of such attention and devotion. The only thing we should cling to is Jesus. He alone is cling-worthy.