If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 1 Kings 14, Colossians 1, Ezekiel 44, Psalms 97–98. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can’t do all the readings today, read 1 Kings 14.
Isn’t it surprising how utilitarian Jeroboam was about matters of faith and worship? When he was being anointed king, he was willing to to believe the Lord (11:26-39, 12:2-3, 12-15). But after the Lord’s word was completely fulfilled and he was made king, he made two golden calves and said, “‘It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’ One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan” (12:28b-29). Now that his son—his heir—is sick here in chapter 14, Jeroboam wanted to know the Lord’s will again. He sent his wife to the very prophet who anointed him, whose word was fulfilled completely, when he wanted to know if his son would be OK (vv. 2-5). Comically, he even told his wife to disguise herself (v. 2b) as if the Lord would not reveal who she was but would reveal what would happen to his son. He was all about knowing God’s will when it had to do with his life and prosperity. When the Lord’s word was against him, however, he wanted to seize the Lord’s prophet (13:4), presumably to harm him. God’s word, his truth, was important in key moments of his life; the rest of the time, however, his golden calves were more than good enough. The true God was like a spare tire to him. You never think about your spare tire until one of your regular tires goes flat; then you hope the spare tire will bail you out of being stuck and stranded. This is how Jeroboam treated the God of his people Israel.
I take it back; maybe it isn’t surprising that Jeroboam treated God this way because it is tempting for us to treat God this way, too. When our future is at stake, we want to know what God’s word says. When everything is good for us, we are tempted to give God as much consideration as we give our spare tires in normal driving conditions. Do your prayer habits shrivel and dry up until the next crisis hits? Do you neglect God’s word until you are afraid, then you crave knowing what God’s will is? Because we are fallen, the spare tire theology that Jeroboam had is easy for us to slouch into. May God give us a heart like David who, though sinful himself, longed to know and love God.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we’ll talk scripture again tomorrow.