After this thing Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but made priests for the high places again from among all the people. Any who would, he ordained to be priests of the high places. And this thing became sin to the house of Jeroboam, so as to cut it off and to destroy it from the face of the earth. I Kings 13:33-34 ESV
Transgression speaks to the wicked
deep in his heart;
there is no fear of God
before his eyes.
For he flatters himself in his own eyes
that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
He plots trouble while on his bed;
he sets himself in a way that is not good;
he does not reject evil. Psalm 36:1-4 ESV
In January of 1986, the United States launched a space shuttle called the Challenger. There were seven people on board, including a teacher named Christa McAuliffe. This space mission was something many people were excited about, but 73 seconds into the launch the space shuttle burst into flames and was destroyed, and all seven people were killed. The reason this happened was a flaw in the design that made the shuttle unsafe to launch in cold weather. Several engineers were aware of this problem and tried to warn the people responsible for the launch, but no one listened to their warnings. Because the warnings were ignored, the disaster happened.
Jeroboam and many of his people did the same thing. A man of God had come up from the south and warned him that God was angry with Jeroboam for worshiping false gods and turning his back on the true God. But Jeroboam ignored this warning. He continued to do as he pleased, sacrificing to false gods and goddesses on high hills and letting anyone who wanted to become a priest offer sacrifices. He didn’t follow God’s ways or respect God’s true priests. Ignoring God’s warnings is a dangerous thing to do. It would bring disaster on Jeroboam’s dynasty, and eventually on the whole northern kingdom.
God has warned us through his word that disaster and punishment are coming for everyone who doesn’t obey God and follow his ways. It’s very frightening to think about the punishment and separation from God that goes on forever. But God doesn’t want people to be separated from him. He sent Jesus to take the sins of all the people of the world on himself. Jesus took the punishment for our sins, and because of that God forgives us every day. We are God’s people through Jesus, and we have life with God that begins now and will go on forever in his heavenly kingdom.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus our Savior so that our sins are forgiven and we can be your people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.