TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21
1 KINGS 11:1-13
1 KINGS 12:15
"… the king hearkened not unto the people;
for the cause was from the LORD…"
APOSTASY DUE TO BACKSLIDING LEADERS
1 Kings 12:25-33 records the beginning of apostasy in the Kingdom of Israel. Fearing that he might eventually lose political control over the ten tribes because of their long-standing religious ties with Jerusalem (capital of the Southern Kingdom, 1 Kings 12:27), Jeroboam instituted a state religion designed to meet his people’s need for convenience, and his own need for power. This "became a sin" (1 Kings 12:30) for Israel. The Northern Kingdom’s apostasy was caused by Jeroboam’s false religious practices which took deep root throughout the existence of the kingdom. The house of Israel never departed from the practices he established.
When the house of David fell into idolatry, the LORD raised up another "David" and promised to establish his house without, of course, abandoning his earlier promises to David. Jeroboam proved himself a false David. He was not as obedient to the LORD as David had been, but instead established an unauthorized system of worship, an unauthorized priesthood, and an unauthorized festival calendar. Historical books of the Bible consistently refer to Jeroboam the son of Nebat as the author of the apostasy of Israel from the Mosaic religion.
Apostasy arises whenever believers do not live holy lives as witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ. Their life of backsliding invites the wrath of God upon them, which will also affect the people around them. Backsliding leaders are deposed and false professors are set to rule, leading more people into the bandwagon of Satan. Apostasy can occur even in the best kingdoms, nations, churches or families when members become complacent to the attacks of the enemies. This controversy is a good illustration of how apostasy begins when leaders wilfully rebel against the LORD their God.
THOUGHT: Am I backsliding from the Lord?
PRAYER: "But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid" (Ps 86:15-16).