In a few hours, after coaching my younger son’s basketball team (leaving at half-time; fortunately, I have great co-coaches, one of whom is my older son), I drive back to Lewisburg, PA to look at Kings Behaving Badly, specifically, Ahab.
I’ll be speaking to InterVarsity students from Northern PA schools (Albright, Alvernia, Bloomsburg, Bucknell, Lehigh, Penn State, Susquehanna) about Elijah, the Kings and the Idols.
We’ll be talking about idols and idolatry. The Northern Kingdom of Israel struggled for hundreds of years with idolatry, despite God repeatedly sending them prophets like Elijah and Elisha. The problem is, that even though Jeroboam I was a capable leader, he got the nation off to a bad start by setting up golden calves for the people to worship, one at the southern end of Judah at Bethel, and another at the northern end of Judah at Dan. Golden calves? Doesn’t that sound familiar? Yeah, as in Exodus 32 and Aaron. Over the course of the Northern Kingdoms several hundred year history, no Israelite king got rid of Jeroboam’s altars of golden calves, not even righteous Jehu.
When you’re starting something, a Bible Study, a class or a new nation, make sure you get off to a good start, otherwise you can mess things up for centuries.
Painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard.