1 Kings 11:31-33
King Solomon, King David’s son, was considered the wisest king of Israel. He was chosen by God to build the ultimate temple, the Tabernacle of God in Jerusalem. Like Noah, God gave Solomon specific measurements to build His tabernacle. The remnants of which is still present in modern-day Jerusalem today. Given this great task, we can imagine that Solomon, like his father David, was truly loved by God. Yet Solomon lost his reverence for God by accepting and appeasing the idols of his many wives. His act of disobedience caused the dismantling of the twelve tribes of Israel. And, as a result, the mantle of leadership would be stripped from the House of David, leaving Solomon’s successor, his son Rehoboam, to ultimately lead only two tribes of Israel.
Instead, God blessed Jeroboam, a servant in King Solomon’s household with the mantle of leadership, giving him ten of the twelve tribes. At first, he accepted God’s promised blessing, with the understanding that, he would lead Israel in reverence, back to the one true God as King David had done. But then, something happened—success.
He was accepted by the people to become King of Israel. And, although he built two altars to offer sacrifices to God, he feared that the people, in their repentance and worship of God, would remember their love for King David, and return the kingdom back to Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. So instead, he created two golden calves to replace what should have been God’s altar, convincing the people that it was too difficult for them to travel to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to God. He further convinced them to offer sacrifices locally, to the god of Egypt—the golden calf. They listened, and accepted this illicit behavior.
The story, found in 1 Kings 11, is a reminder to those in positions of leadership that, whether you lead a ministry, state, or nation, your decisions impact a greater realm than your own life. If you make a decision, remember to work with God’s leadership, not against it. If your ego, fear, or pride takes precedence over your love for God and the people whom He has asked you to serve, there is no question about it, you are headed for disaster. Here’s what happened to Jeroboam’s lineage because he led the people in worshiping and offering sacrifices to idols.
“Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung till all be gone. Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city, shall the dogs eat. Him that dieth in the field, shall the fowls of the air eat; for the Lord has spoken it.” 1 Kings 14:10-11
There’s more, but you get the picture. God allowed his reign to last twenty-two years; but, He cursed his entire lineage, wiping them off the face of the earth. He didn't even allow their bodies to be buried in the ground. It would have been better for Jeroboam to have followed God’s lead, or not accept the mantle of leadership of God’s people. Unfortunately, Jeroboam’s ego got the best of him, and his entire lineage suffered because of it. So, make a note; if you are going to lead God’s people, lead with God in mind. L.
Study Reference: 1 Kings, Chapters 11-14, 15:29-30
From: “Leadership Change.” In The Master’s Hands: 365 Daily Devotions for Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Isaac Cordal, in Berlin