Ep. 118: Jeroboam’s Sin

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Ep. 118: Jeroboam’s Sin

Jeroboam chose the city of Shechem to be the capital of Israel. He built it up and put his palace there.
He realized his people had a natural tendency to be loyal to the family of David. He said to his advisors, “The people keep going to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple. Eventually, they’ll decide their true loyalty is to the king from the line of David. They’ll kill me and reunite with Judah.”
To solve this problem, he made two golden calves. He put one in the south at Bethel and the other in the north at Dan. He said to the people, “It’s too hard to travel to Jerusalem several times a year. Here’s your god who brought you out of Egypt.”
Jeroboam built shrines to these idols and appointed priests for them. The priests weren’t from the tribe of Levi but were just anyone who wanted to be a priest. He then made annual celebrations at the same times as the ones in Jerusalem.
When he took the golden calf to Dan, people lined up behind it as it went along. Once they got there, Jeroboam made sacrifices to this new idol. He then went south to Bethel to sacrifice on the altar he had built there.
A young man of God from Judah walked up to Jeroboam as he was standing by the altar. The prophet yelled, “Altar, altar! Hear what the Lord God says to you. ‘A king will be born in Judah named Josiah. On this altar he’ll sacrifice the priests who burn incense on it.’ ”
The young prophet then turned to the people, “The Lord gave me a sign that these things will happen. This altar will rip apart and the ashes will spill to the ground.”
King Jeroboam got angry and pointed at the prophet. “Grab that man!” As soon as he said those words, the hand he had stretched out froze in position and he couldn’t pull it back. Suddenly the altar ripped apart and the ashes spilled to the ground.
Seeing this, the king begged the man of God. “Please pray to the Lord and ask him to restore my hand back to me.”
So the man of God prayed and Jeroboam’s hand returned to the way it was before. The king said, “Come with me to the palace and eat something. Then I’ll give you a gift.”
The young prophet said, “I wouldn’t go with you even if you gave me half of everything you own. The Lord said that I’m not to eat or drink anything while I’m here. And I’m to go back to Judah a different way from how I came.” With that, he walked away.
Even with this warning, Jeroboam didn’t repent of what he was doing. He continued to promote the worship of the two calves and appoint priests for them. Because of this sin, his kingdom didn’t continue after his death, and he had no descendants.

 

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