'Appreciating God's Love'
Jeroboam the King of Israel
I Kin 12:20 Now it came to pass when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had come back, they sent for him and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel. There was none who followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.
After God tore the rest of Israel except Judah from the rule of David's descendants, the people made Jeroboam the king of Israel.
Because the temple of God was in Jerusalem under the jurisdiction of the King of Judah, fear came upon King Jeroboam for he had no faith in God. He was worried that since the Israelites had to go to Jerusalem to pray and offer sacrifices in the temple of God, they might be influenced to accept the king of Judah and discard him as their king.
I Kin 12:26-27 And Jeroboam said in his heart, "Now the kingdom may return to the house of David: If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn back to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah."
Jeroboam Made Golden Calves
I Kin 12:28, 32-33 Therefore the king asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!"
To prevent the Israelites from worshipping the Lord in Jerusalem, he made two golden calves. He set them up in Bethel and also in Dan. He instituted the priesthood and also the feast on the fifteen day of the eight month.
He deceived the Israelites into idolatry. He caused them to sin and commit abominations to the Lord.
I Kin 12:32-33 Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the feast that was in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did at Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And at Bethel he installed the priests of the high places which he had made. So he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart. And he ordained a feast for the children of Israel, and offered sacrifices on the altar and burned incense.
Jeroboam rebuked by Prophet
I Kin 13:1-6 And behold, a man of God went from Judah to Bethel by the word of the Lord, and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. Then he cried out against the altar by the word of the Lord, and said, "O altar, altar! Thus says the Lord: 'Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men's bones shall be burned on you.' " And he gave a sign the same day, saying, "This is the sign which the Lord has spoken: Surely the altar shall split apart, and the ashes on it shall be poured out."
God sent a prophet with signs and wonders to admonish and rebuke King Jeroboam for his abominations of
1. making two abominable golden calves to lead the Israelites into idolatry
2. appointing the unholy priesthood
3. ordaining the unacceptable feasts
I Kin 13:5 The altar also was split apart, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord.
Jeroboam's Refusal to Repent
I Kin 13:33-34 After this event Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again he made priests from every class of people for the high places; whoever wished, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. And this thing was the sin of the house of Jeroboam, so as to exterminate and destroy it from the face of the earth.
Because of King Jeroboam's refusal to repent but continuation of his abominations, all his descendants were eventually killed.
Wickedness of Israeli Kings
2 Kin 17:13-14 Yet the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets." Nevertheless they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God.
All the kings in the Kingdom of Israel were stiff-necked and evil. All of them followed the ways of the wicked King Jeroboam.
God sent prophets after prophets to admonish and rebuke them of their abominable practices but they rejected the warnings of the prophets.
They provoked the Lord to anger by becoming idolaters, making their children to walk over fire and practicing witchcraft and soothsaying.
They had sold themselves to do evil only, so their final destination could only be hell. Out of His great love for them, God had to destroy the Kingdom of Israel to save them from damnation.
2 Kin 17:15-17 And they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them that they should not do like them. So they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger.
Kingdom of Israel Destroyed
2 Kin 17:22-23 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, until the Lord removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.
God allowed the Assyrians to annihilate the Kingdom of Israel so that the Israelites in their pains, sorrows and plights during captivity, would remember the words of the Lord, repent and keep His covenant.