Saturday, September 22, 2018

Forsaking True Worship

 “After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, ‘It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt. One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. And this thing became a sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other. Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites. He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made” (1 Kings 12:28-32).

In an attempt to solidify his rule as king, Jeroboam built two altars to “the god that brought the Israelites out of Egypt”, one in Dan to the north, the other in Bethel to the South. In doing so, he turned many hearts away from the true worship of the Lord, and started Israel down a path of sin that would lead the nation all the way to captivity.

While this seems so outlandish to 21st century Christians that the children of Israel would so easily turn their attention to golden calves, I would suggest that this kind of apostasy is peddled and accepted among the children of God today! Jeroboam’s new worship practices were not set up to the exclusion of worship to Jehovah, but as supplements meant to enhance worship. I can imagine the reactions of many Israelites whose faith was waning:

  • Finally, we have a graven image representative of the God of Abraham. Having a visual aid to look up to is sure to make their worship seem more real.
  • Away with the exclusionary, traditional practice of only having Levites as priests. God wants everybody to serve him, doesn’t he? Everyone should be allowed to be a priest.
  • It’s impractical for us to have to take time away from our jobs to travel to Jerusalem. That practice was surely meant for our forefathers, and is no longer relevant to an established nation such as ourselves.
  • The other nations do not worship their gods in tents, why should we? Worshiping atop the high places will be so amazing, so emotionally stirring. Our worship has become outdated and irrelevant anyways…get with the times!

The fact remains the same today as it was thousands of years ago: if our worship practice is not from God, our worship is a sham. The children of Israel gave up true worship for that which was fraudulent and sinful–Let us not do the same today. As we see in further study of the historic nation of Israel, it is a slippery slope from unauthorized buy cialis “worship enhancements” to Baal worship.

“After this event Jeroboam did not return from his evil way, but again he made priests of the high places from among all the people; any who would, he ordained, to be priests of the high places. This event became sin to the house of Jeroboam, even to blot it out and destroy it from off the face of the earth.” (1 Kings 13:33-34).

 

Seth B.

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