Idolatry Established
Monday Club Sermons
1 Kings 12:26-33
And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:…

I. THE KING MADE USE OF THE CHURCH TO SERVE HIS POLITICAL AMBITIONS. Historical illustrations of success in a similar line to that entered upon by Jeroboam are abundant. The Roman Church has this sad record to face, of its having been a support or cover to all the personal ambitions that throb in a human breast. The important thing, however, is that, under all forms of church establishment or order, these influences are liable to manifest themselves. The dangers to the church arise not merely from the desires of prominent individuals to exercise undue control in ecclesiastical affairs; the false sentiments of men within and without the church are the sources of peril. Pressure is brought to bear upon the Christian community to declare itself positively on difficult or doubtful questions. Political motives often mingle with those that are personal in leading men thus to antagonise the church into a position favourable to their views.

II. THE PEOPLE SACRIFICED THEIR RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLES TO THEIR LOVE OF EASE. If a young man who has been taught secret prayer neglects that duty and privilege till bedtime, and delays still further till he retires, that prayer will not be a vital, faithful prayer. Frederick W. Robertson used to say, "Begin the day with a sacrifice." He rose quickly. He engaged his mind, instead of allowing it to wander in the precious morning hours. It was his habit to learn a verse of Scripture while dressing. Some vigorous mental and moral effort is necessary to bring one into a proper state for worship.

III. THE INTRODUCTION OF OLD ERRORS MADE IDOLATRY MORE ACCEPTABLE. Jeroboam took advantage of an incident in the early history of the people of Israel in setting up the golden calves. The old sin of the tribes, in worshipping the calf made by Aaron in the absence of Moses, was yet to bear fruit. The new ritual is made more acceptable by being linked with an old sin. The people fell again into the pit from which they were digged. The results, however, were those that universally followed disobedience to God's commands. Moab and Damascus were soon as near as Bethel and Dan, and their worship as acceptable to deceived Israel.

IV. A SERVILE PRIESTHOOD AIDED IN ACCOMPLISHING THE ENSLAVEMENT OF THE PEOPLE. We need not understand, by the lowest orders of the people, the worst of the population of the ten tribes. The king chose his priests where it pleased him, outside of the tribe of Levi. This would undoubtedly be a popular measure. Probably the king did not choose all bad men. It does not appear a matter of great importance to many in this day that a man be called of God to the ministry; it is, however, a most vital matter. If he does not recognise God's call upon him, he will not feel responsibility to God. He is only, or chiefly, responsible to men. We obey the master that elevates us. The priests, out of the lowest, orders of tim people, served the king. Men will treat lightly the word of God unless an inward voice has declared to them its sacredness and their commission in regard to it. The servility begotten of a feeling of responsibility to men expresses itself in formalism. It recognises custom and tradition as the law by which men are to guide their lives. A ministry that the world calls will obey its master. Let us have a consecrated and called ministry.

(Monday Club Sermons.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:

WEB: Jeroboam said in his heart, "Now the kingdom will return to the house of David.

Idolatry Established
Top of Page
Top of Page