As I desire to plant this church, I understand the temptation to move along quicker than God desires, want to appease people, and quickly launch a service. But they say the number failure of church plants is a premature public worship service…its like setting up golden calves.
One of the biggest criticisms I hear is that the Bible is no longer relevant to our modern life. It is old, outdated, and from a context devoid of iphones, Twitter, and all the benefits of modern civilization. However, I find that if I can open it with a prayerful heart God smacks me in the face with something deeply practical to my life.
For my personal devotion, I am reading through 1 Kings–the history of Israel’s Kings from 1000ish BC to 500ish BC; a lot of hard to pronounce Hebrew names, and places that no longer exist. Irrelevant right?
Take for example 1 Kings 12:25-33…The King of Israel, Solomon has just died; the country is dividing behind two emerging leaders Jeroboam and Rehoboam (remember I said they were hard to pronounce). Rehoboam is Solomon’s son, and king to the throne; Jeroboam leads a rebellion and takes the Northern part of Israel with 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel. This leaves Rehoboam the two tribes and Jerusalem–where God’s Temple has been built (bored yet?).
Without the Temple, Jeroboam was afraid that his people would return to the south, to Jerusalem, and back into the King Rehoboam’s community in order to worship God. Therefore, he decided to make two golden calves (1 Kings 12:28). Bad move! One golden calf got the people in Exodus struck with a plague…two was just plain stupid.
But Jeroboam was being pressured to provide for his people, and so we are told in verse 28: “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, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.'”
Seems irrelevant right?
But as I began to pray, I began to understand the temptation of Jeroboam. He wanted to lead his people well, he wanted to respond to their demands, he wanted to make things easy for them, he even sought the advice of others. But he failed to seek the advice of God.
As you have begun to step out in faith and having a gospel impact in your life, family, in your neighborhood, in your city what “golden calves” are tempting you? Have the idols of money, power, comfort and success crept back into the center of your daily thoughts? Is it too difficult to engage God’s Word daily? Are you seeking the advice of others or of God?
Ultimately, Jeroboam’s mistake was that he was more worried about saving his life (v. 27) than serving God.
Jesus’ promise to us is that: “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:25