1Kings 12:32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. (See 12:25-33)
Here we take a turn into the flesh and idolatry. But before we go there, I want to say again, that these series are meant to draw you into a deeper, closer relationship with the Lord. I fear that even we teachers and preachers are guilty of giving time and place to the world and being just plain slothful when it comes to prayer, Bible study, and dedication to the ministry to which we are called. But all of us have been given the ministry of reconciliation and witness (see Acts 1:8 & 2Cor. 5:18), but it will not be evident, possible, OR powerful if we are not at our own Bethel! Now, with that said, let’s look at a bad turn in Bethel.
Jeroboam was not a Godly man. The “-Boam” boys were to be the first kings of the divided nation of Israel. Jero- was the king of the northern tribes. He subverted the worship from the true God to idols! See also 13:33-34, 14:9-16, 16:2-31, 2Chr. 11:14, & 13:8-9. God makes much of what he did in the Bible for a reason, I believe. Note well the word “calves” (Baals or Baalim, which is plural for Baal) and “priests” in 1Ki. 12:32. Now read again V33. NOT ONLY did he offer to false gods there but he led the nation into it also! HOW could such a thing be? In this place, so special to God, idols and a debauched, filthy, depraved, idol worship service! He also made a new holy day to bind the people to this awful worship and priests to oversee the whole mess. Note also he offered on the altar that had been holy to God. Note also (V28) they were calves of gold (see Ex. 32:4-34). That which pertains to worship, should be made of gold, BUT it should belong exclusively to God!
Now look at 1Ki. 13:1. God sends His man! Jeroboam was about to offer, or had already burnt incense. That is a form or picture of prayer! Praying and offering to dead false idols… at Bethel! God’s man cried against the new idol worship! And God said He would rip this altar in pieces and BURN the BONES of the false priests ON it! GOD sees it as holy! DON’T DESECRATE or PROFANE that which is holy! NOW look at V4-6. See what God thinks about this? He hasn’t changed!
Now for further study look at Ezek. 22:8, 22:26, 23:38-39, & Amos 2:6-8. Take a moment and look at the definition of the word “profane.”
How do you see Bethel? How do you see YOUR Bethel… your special place of aloneness with God? It must not be just any ordinary p[lace and there must not be anything there that is of the world or that defiles or profanes the holiness of it. HAVE that place! KEEP that place…. holy!
All CBBI Mini-series are authored by Richard Lodwick.