1 Kings 12 — The Sin of Jeroboam

What was the sin of Jeroboam? Unauthorized innovation — still a problem to this day.
By Wayne Jackson | Christian Courier

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Jeroboam, a ruler of the northern kingdom of Israel, is given special attention in the Old Testament. No less than twenty-one times he is charged with having caused Israel to sin (cf. 1 Kings 14:16). What was his transgression that merited such attention?

He was an innovator. He practiced what the apostle Paul would call “will-worship” (Colossians 2:23). His presumptuous activities are detailed in 1 Kings 12.

First, he corrupted the worship of Jehovah by instituting golden calves as objects of divine adoration (v. 28).

Second, he changed the place of service from Jerusalem to the cities of Bethel and Dan — under the guise of convenience (vv. 27-30).

Third, Jeroboam appointed priests from among tribes other than that of Levi (v. 31) — a practice unauthorized, since the law had spoken “nothing” about priests from Israel’s other tribes (cf. Hebrews 7:14). This is a perfect example illustrating the fact that the “law of silence” is indeed a reality in the scriptural scheme of things!

Fourth, the king altered the time of the feast of the tabernacles from the seventh month, fifteenth day, to the eighth month, fifteenth day (v. 32).

All of this he had “devised of his own heart” (v. 33). He was a high-handed rebel who well deserved the wrath of God. And all of his spiritual kin are not extinct!

Thus, in your margin in connection with chapter 12 note: Sin of Jeroboam: Changed the object, place, priesthood, and time of worship. Then mark and label the appropriate verses.