Not you - you’re not afraid of anything.
Nothing scares you.
And yet, even the bravest of us sometimes do things - because of fear. We compromise because we fear looking stupid or weak or lame. We do things we shouldn’t, things we don’t even really want to do. We do stuff that we know isn’t right - because we’re afraid of what might happen if we don’t.
We figure that we’ve got to do something - or things are going to turn out bad.
I think, that’s what Jeroboam thought. Who’s Jeroboam? You can read about him in 1 Kings 11-14.
In 1 Kings 11 God told Jeroboam that He was going to make him King over ten of the tribes of Israel - because Solomon had not been faithful to obey the Lord - he had worshipped idols.
God did what He promised, when Solomon’s son Rehoboam became king over Judah and Jerusalem, Jeroboam became king over the other tribes of Israel.
But then, in 1 Kings 12:26 & 27, Jeroboam let fear drive him to create some idols,and to encourage the people to worship them -
he didn’t want them to return to Jerusalem to worship God there in the Temple.
Jeroboam feared that if the people went back to Jerusalem, that they would decide to make Solomon’s son Rehoboam king over them.
Even though Solomon’s kingdom was divided because of his idol worship, Jeroboam (because of fear) encouraged God’s people to worship idols.
It was stupid. Fear often leads us to do stupid things.
Here’s some wisdom from Jesus: Matthew 10:28-32 “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
In other words, Jesus says,
instead of fearing whatever it is (or whoever it is) that you’re afraid of,fear (respect and obey) God. Because God is our final judge.
God is way more powerful and (this is the best part) He LOVES you! God values you. He cares about you. He will take care of you.
Jeroboam - should have feared God more than he feared Rehoboam. And you and I, we should fear God - more than whatever, or whoever it is that we’re afraid of…