He Made Israel to Sin
When the kingdom was divided, God gave the northern kingdom of Israel to Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. Jeroboam feared that if the people went to Jerusalem to worship at the Temple as God had commanded they would remain in Judea and pledge their allegiance to Rehoboam and the rest of David’s dynasty. Being the ingenious fella he was, Jeroboam erected two golden calves, one in Bethel and one in Dan, for the people to worship (1 Ki 12:25-33). Thanks to the golden calves the people no longer needed to make the arduous journey to Jerusalem for worship; they could honor the gods “who brought [them] up out of the land of Egypt” (1 Ki 12:28) right in Israel.
This great sin—a sin which came from Jeroboam’s fear, pride, and lack of trust in God—became synonymous with the king’s 22-year reign. In fact, Jeroboam became the measuring rod against which evil kings were judged. For example, the historian summarized the reign of Nadab, Jeroboam’s son, this way: “He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin which he made Israel to sin” (1 Ki 15:26). And so it goes throughout the rest of Kings; you often find references to Jeroboam’s “sin which he made Israel to sin.”
A king whom God chose to lead his people because of great potential royally squandered his moment and led the nation to sin. Yes, the Israelites who chose to worship at the golden calves were responsible to God for their own sins, yet their king had encouraged and enticed them in an easier, softer way.
Are there people in your life whom you lead into sin?
- Do you give the necessary encouragement to your family?
- Do you set the right example before your neighbors?
- Do people see a different you on Monday morning than they see on Sunday morning?
- Do you say one thing but do another?
- Do your children see your Christ-like character?
- Do your friends see you reject the good and rejoice in wrongdoing?
Are you leading anyone to sin?