MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20
1 KINGS 13:1-10
1 CORINTHIANS 10:21
"Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord,
and the cup of devils…
CHANGE NOT FOR THE WORSE
Jeroboam changed the symbols of Israel’s religion. Instead of golden cherubim, he replaced them with golden calves. Thus he became distinguished as the man "who made Israel to sin" (1 Kings 14:16) and the succeeding kings of Israel followed suit. Jeroboam’s object was political: to preserve the kingdom. He instituted religious observances that would bind the people to the north.
He changed the centre of worship. Jeroboam took steps to prevent the people’s periodic visits to Jerusalem, the centre of worship. He built two shrines: one in Bethel, at the southern extremity of his Northern Kingdom, and the other in Dan, near its northern boundary (1 Kings 12:29).
He also changed the priesthood system since the vast majority of priests and Levites had fled southward to Judah, taking with them the remnant of true believers from the northern tribes and leaving behind a situation of near-total apostasy (2 Chron 11:13-17). He opened the priestly privileges, such that "whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest" (2 Chron 13:9).
Moreover, he changed the religious calendar. A substitute religion, rather than no religion, has always been Satan’s supreme goal (Rev 3:16-18). Jeroboam simply shifted the celebration of the feast of the tabernacles from the seventh month to the eighth month (1 Kings 12:32-33; Lev 23:33-35). And, with the celebration in two locations, he made the event more spectacular than its counterpart in Judah (held in one location).
However, he did not stop there. He "stood by the altar to burn incense" (1 Kings 13:1). He arrogated to himself a role which God did not give to him. He promoted himself to a status which God did not ordain himto have.
THOUGHT: Am I changing for the better?
PRAYER: "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required" (Ps 40:6).