1 Kings 12:25-33
And he will give Israel up because of the sins Jeroboam has committed and has caused Israel to commit. 1 Kings 14:16 (NIV)
Have you ever wondered if you have left a bad influence on the lives of others. I know that there were a couple of years back in high school that anyone who was watching would not have had a good example to follow. As a matter of fact, I would be embarrassed if someone recalled my behaviour.
Jeroboam was the first of the worst. He became the poster child for all that went wrong in Israel. He became the icon who started the slide of a new kingdom into punishment and exile. The little phrase “caused Israel to commit (sin)” could have been on his gravestone; many phrases like this in the books of the kings refer to the influence of Jeroboam.
What makes this so much worse is that Jeroboam was appointed by God to be king. God had made promises to him and had invested in him after Solomon had disobeyed God. But in fear for his throne and to prop up his own fragile self-esteem, Jeroboam served up the popular poison soup of pagan religions that had re-entered the land.
If you need a reason to give up the traditional bad habits, of abusing, or swearing, or laziness, or marital strife, just look around you. Look at your kids. Look at your grandkids. Look at your unchurched neighbours. Don’t be the one to cause them to sin; don’t be a domino that tips others into sinful disarray and a disregard for Jesus.
God has promises for you. God has invested in you. He bought you with a price – the life of his own Son, Jesus. Follow him and use the influence of your faith to serve him and others.
Lord, make me strong. With your help, make me a blessing to others, and lead me so that I can lead others to you. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen