WORSHIP THE LORD
Leslie M. John
“Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10)
Throughout Bible it is seen how the LORD God of Israel, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was against worshipping His creation rather than the creator. The LORD called the children of Israel as fornicators when they worshiped idols. He chastised them several times and yet they repeatedly fell into this Sin.
”Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God”. (Leviticus 19:4)
Solomon, who was the wisest king over Israel was no exception, and therefore, had to pay very dearly. He died after reigning as King over Israel for forty years and was buried with his fathers. In his last days Solomon wrote: “And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 ESV)
Israel was split into two kingdoms. The northern kingdom was formed with Jeroboam as their King with ten tribes which was called the “House of Israel”.
Rehoboam became the King of the Southern province which was called ”House of Judah”. The tribe of Levi, who were priests, mixed up on both the sides and both the houses lived at loggerheads until they were taken captive.
Northern kingdom was taken captive by the Assyrians and southern Kingdom was taken captive by the Babylonians, who later took hold of Northern Kingdom also, and thus the history of Israel is written in bloodshed.
Rehoboam faced huge problem in collecting taxes from Northern Province. He sent Adoram, who was in-charge of collecting taxes to collect tribute from the Northern Province but when the ”House of Israel” saw him they stoned him to death. King Rehoboam hurriedly escaped from the scene by getting into his chariot and fled to Jerusalem.
Thereafter, “House of Israel” rebelled and was at war with ”House of Judah”. Rehoboam planned to wage war against Jeroboam but the word of the LORD came to him and to all the people of ”House of Judah” that they should return to their homes and not wage war against their brethren in the Northern Province.
The word of the LORD was conveyed to them by Shemaiah, the man of God. ”The House of Judah” and their king Rehoboam hearkened unto the LORD’s voice and obeyed. Jeroboam faced a great dilemma as to how to obstruct his people from going to Jerusalem every year to celebrate Passover festival. He quickly devised a plan and made two calves of gold and said to his people that it is too arduous a task for them to travel to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices; instead they would well sacrifice to the idols, which he called them as their gods who brought them out of the land of Egypt.
He set up one idol at Bethel and the other at Dan. He appointed priests of the lowest standard and those who were not the sons of Levi. Bethel was at the border delineating his Province from that of Southern Province and Dan was the northern border. This became a sin which the LORD abhorred.
The people from his kingdom went even unto Dan to worship the idols. Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eight month just as the ”House of Judah” celebrated but he and his people offered sacrifices to idols at Dan and Bethel and offered incense to them. They did just opposite to what the LORD commanded them to do and that was the beginning of the fall of the”House of Israel”.
When Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness to make the stones into bread after he had fasted for forty days and forty nights and when he was hungry he sternly replied … ”It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”
Then, the devil took him to the pinnacle of the temple and tempted to cast Himself down and quoted a Scripture but the Lord said… ”… It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”
Again the devil took Jesus to an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them and said that he would give all of them to Jesus.
The Lord replied. ”Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (cf. Matthew 4:1-10)
No matter who sets up idols in our lives and force us to worship them it is very essential that we worship the living God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ and Him only.