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The Godliness of Government by David C. Bad Faith, Good Politics? From the kingdom of David and Solomon, the Lord had torn ten tribes from which he created the northern kingdom of Israel, and made Jeroboam its first king. Through the prophet Ahijah, the Lord spoke clearly to Jeroboam regarding two things 1 Jeroboam son of nebat sins —38 :.
Despite all that the Lord did for him, Jeroboam did not trust him. He was a man altogether of this world. Did he take his fears to God in prayer, and perhaps even ask for a ? Instead, he reformed—no, deformed —the ordinances for worship that the Lord had given to Israel through Moses. Jeroboam erected new shrines, conveniently located in the south at Bethel and in the north at Dan.
He placed golden calves in those shrines Exodus 32 times two. Great was the evil of his deformation; great also were the consequences for himself and for Israel. Indeed, his sin became the benchmark of iniquity for all the kings of Israel after him. For king after king, we read in 1 and 2 Kings that he did evil in the sight of the Lord, refusing to turn away from the sin of Jeroboam and making Israel sin see, for example, 1 Kings King Jeroboam pd, in wicked pride, to subordinate the worship of God to the interests of the state. He made the church a tool of the state.
That was more than unbelieving and foolishly self-destructive. God cut off the house of Jeroboam in judgment. From that royal line came Jesus, our Savior, according to his human nature. There came from heaven the eternal Son of the Father, the Son who is God forever blessed. Jesus the Christ, the anointed Savior-King, came not to be served—in contrast to the power-worshiping rulers of this world—but to serve and to give his life to ransom ours from sin and death. He has been made the Head over all things for the church, which is his body.
No earthly government has power or authority over King Jesus our Lord. But even greater have been the sins of rulers in the last two millennia who have sought to subordinate the church of Christ to their state agendas. Examples are countless; we cite only a few. Consider the Roman emperors. Or the Stuart kings, who forced Episcopal order on all their realm and made martyrs of the Scottish Covenanters. Or Hitler, who forced churches to become instruments of Nazi propaganda and control. We rightly condemn that. And when such is imposed on us, we are bound to resist and obey King Jesus instead.
Jeroboam son of nebat sins, then, shall we say when churches, with no outside coercion, voluntarily make themselves agents of cultural and political agendas and movements? That is deeply embedded in the American church tradition. Earnest evangelicals and liberal social gospelers labored alike to harness their churches to all manner of social betterment causes, such as Prohibition. It was sin for those liberals to hijack churches and turn them into engines of leftist social change. Are we alarmed at the direction that social and cultural movements and government policies are taking our nation?
Shall we then harness the church of Christ to counter them? And pulpits should call sin what the Word of God calls sin, whether in the church or in the world, and point to Christ as the only Savior from sin. But the church, as church including its pulpitmay not become the hired Levite for any political movement or party or ideology. We must maintain a clear and undivided allegiance to our King and to his church.
We proclaim the gospel of Christ, first, last, always, so that through us it may please Christ to build his church. This is an edited version of a devotional message delivered to the 77th General Assembly Bible quotations are from the ESV. New HorizonsFebruary Worldwide Outreach Christian Education. Ministries Chaplains and Military Personnel. Standards Searchable Bible.
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The Sin of Jeroboam (1 Kings , )