No Golden Calf Victories


When we trust in idol, God becomes angry.  An idol is anything which you rely on such that you don’t feel the need to rely on God. What are the golden calves in your life? Do you have security blankets which keep you from having to trust fully in the God who loves you?

1 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam, Abijah became king of Judah, 2 and he reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother’s name was Maakah, a daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.

There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 Abijah went into battle with an army of four hundred thousand able fighting men, and Jeroboam drew up a battle line against him with eight hundred thousand able troops.

4 Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim, in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, “Jeroboam and all Israel, listen to me! 5 Don’t you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt? 6 Yet Jeroboam son of Nebat, an official of Solomon son of David, rebelled against his master.

8 You are indeed a vast army and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made to be your gods. 9 But didn’t you drive out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and make priests of your own as the peoples of other lands do? Whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams may become a priest of what are not gods.

10 “As for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him. The priests who serve the Lord are sons of Aaron, and the Levites assist them. 11 Every morning and evening they present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the Lord. They set out the bread on the ceremonially clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. We are observing the requirements of the Lord our God. But you have forsaken him. 12 God is with us; he is our leader. His priests with their trumpets will sound the battle cry against you. People of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed.”

16 The Israelites fled before Judah, and God delivered them into their hands.

18 The Israelites were subdued on that occasion, and the people of Judah were victorious because they relied on the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
2Chronicles 13:1-6, 8-12, 16, 18

The people of Judah were victorious because they relied on the Lord, the God of their ancestors.

That’s the end of this story. Starting with the repentance and humility of King Rehoboam, and continuing through the reign of Abijah, Judah relied on the Lord. God honoured them with victory when certain defeat stood before them.

Jeroboam had twice the troops and had Abijah surrounded. Israel should have easily defeated Judah in this battle. God had other plans. You see, when we fashion idols to worship, God becomes angry. Israel was still holding on the the golden calves in their time. We don’t have golden calves now, yet we do cling to the security blankets of the 21st century.

An idol today is anything which you rely on such that you don’t feel the need to rely on God.

What are the golden calves in your life?

I find that money is idol for me. I am not super hungry for it: I work in a non-profit and we are a single income family. Still, though, I like the security of the paycheque and our retirement planning as I face each day. I don’t worry about money because I have enough. That might not sound like an idol, yet my comfort with our finances keeps me from being in a fully trusting faith relationship with God. That’s an idol. And the way beyond it is to be generous enough with our money that we put ourselves into the faith position…

As Israel stopped following and trusting and honouring God, he turned his attention away from them and toward Judah, who were putting God first in their lives.

Think about whether God is turning toward or away from you today, and what you can do about that. Every victory in life belongs to him… Rely on the Lord!

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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