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Jeroboam’s Religion: A Refusal of the Lord’s Way

July 29th, 2007

“So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold”

(1 Kings 12:28)

The story of Jeroboam’s golden calves is contained in 1 Kings 12. The Bible says that he put one of the golden calves in Bethel, and the other in Dan. 1 Kings 12:30 states that the people then went to these places to worship. The respected Hebrew scholar, F. Furman Kearley asks—“Was Jeroboam’s religion as good as the religion of God as revealed through Moses?” This question is very timely because people today are saying that one religion is as good as another; or, that one church is as good as any other (Is One Religion as Good as Another? Gospel Advocate (May, 2003): 20-21.

Jeroboam led this rebellion against Rehoboam and thereby divided the kingdom. He feared that if the people continued to worship according to the law at Jerusalem, they would leave him and go back to Rehoboam. So, he simply started a new religious practice to satisfy his own feelings.

1. He rejected the law of the Lord (from Moses’ to his own).
2. He changed the manner of worship (from Yahweh to familiar calves of Egypt).
3. He changed the place of worship (from Jerusalem to Dan and Bethel)
4. He changed the time of worship (originally the 1st, 3rd and 7th mos. to the 8th mo.)
5. He changed the people authorized to offer worship (originally Levites).

There are many today who choose the golden calves of Bethel; leave Jerusalem, and go as far as Dan to worship in the glitter of Jeroboam. This was sin then, and it is sin today.

– Robert M. Housby

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