5/21 1 Kings 12:28

28 So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, "You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt."

The prophet's words to Solomon came to pass. The ten tribes of the north under Jeroboam's leadership rebelled against Solomon's son, Rehoboam. The nation was torn apart from that time forward. To insure that the people no longer went to Jerusalem to worship, he did the same thing his forefathers had done; he built golden calves and declared that these idols had delivered them from Egypt. He even made up their own feast day so the people wouldn't long for the feasts of the LORD. I wonder if the temple Solomon built for his Egyptian wife had a golden calf as well. Solomon's compromise had now become a national crisis, one that would not end even unto the captivity of the entire nation.

One compromise led to another and then another until we have the tragic state of such a great nation. God had meant for the nation to be a shining example on the crossroads of the world (Ezekiel 5:5). People were to see the blessing on Israel and be drawn to its God, the creator of heaven and earth. Now God's chosen people were headed down the path of the nations that God had judged when they came into the land.

Our lives are meant to serve the same purpose as Israel of old. Because of our obedience to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, our joy and peace should be evident to all that we meet, so that they ask us about our faith and the God we serve. But we also have the same temptation that Israel had. One compromise after another can lead us down a path of idolatry and destruction. We can say we are Christians, but if our compromises cost us the joy and peace we once had, why would anyone ask us about the goodness of our God? If we go far enough down that road, we end up just like the northern tribes, making up our own religion, borrowing a little from this one and that, and blending in with the fallen world around us.

Contemplation: Consider what little compromises end in such a great fall.