July 4, 2022
Today’s reading: 1 Kings 12:25-31
Religion of convenience
We read in 1 Kings 12:25-31:
25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim, and dwelt there. Also he went out from there and built Penuel. 26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom may return to the house of David: 27 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.”
28 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!” 29 And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. 31 He made shrines on the high places, and made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi.
We could see here how people tend to choose a religion that is convenient to them. We may think that this is a modern problem, but actually, it has already been a problem since antiquity.
Jeroboam thought that it would be detrimental to his newly found kingdom for its people to go to Jerusalem every year to worship Yahweh. So, he appealed to the people’s natural tendency to choose convenience rather than true obedience.
So, instead of traveling down to Jerusalem, they can choose to worship in a place near them. What’s more, the religion created by Jeroboam was more convenient to follow and keep. People don’t need to follow God who will tell them what to do. They can conveniently worship dead gods that won’t dictate how they should live their lives.
Sadly, we also see the same trend today. People choose to hear what they want to hear. Rather than hear the truth, they turn to a religion of convenience that will satisfy their feel-good worship of God.
We, in the assembly of Yahweh, could also commit the same mistake. We must strive to know and follow our Father’s will and not simply choose what to obey out of convenience.
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