“Go, tell Jeroboam, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over my people Israel and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, and yet you have not been like my servant, David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart doing only that which was right in my eyes. But you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods and metal images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back.”
-1 Kings 14:7–9
I’m going to stop there. What an indictment from God of Jeroboam’s life. Jeroboam had been entrusted with grace, with an opportunity to lead God’s people. And instead of following God with all his heart and doing that which was right in God’s eyes, he did that which was right in his own eyes. He did evil above all who’d gone before him, made other gods and metal images, provoked God to anger and listen to this phrase. “Cast God behind his back.”
Oh, as we read here, these verses, aren’t we driven, compelled, motivated to pray that God would keep us from the sins of Jeroboam, which we are all susceptible to. Not one of us is beyond sinning in any of these ways. And so we pray, just as Jesus taught us to pray, Father in heaven, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil today. God, we pray that you would deliver us from the evil that we see in Jeroboam here, that we are prone to in our own hearts.
God, we pray that you’d help us to keep your commandments and to follow you with all our hearts. God, we pray that this would be true of our lives every day. Help us to keep your commandments and follow you with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, all our strength. God help us to do what is right in your eyes. Forgive us, O God, for all the ways we are prone and all the ways we have done things that are right in our own eyes, that seemed right to us, seemed right to the world around us, that are not right in your eyes.
God, we pray that you would help us to do that, which is right in your eyes, according to your word. You would help us to turn from evil in every way. God, that you would help us to turn from all other little G gods in this world to worship you alone. Help us to flee idolatry. God, we pray. God, we pray that it would never be said of us, at any moment today, any moment in our lives, that we cast you behind your back.
God, we pray that you would be at the forefront of our minds, our thoughts, our affections, our desires, our words, our actions. That would help us to live with you at the center of our lives today, before us, living to exalt you, to follow you with all our hearts.
God, we pray that it would be so. Lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil. Deliver us from the sins of Jeroboam, here in our own hearts and lives today, that we might walk in obedience to your commands and follow you with all of our hearts.
May it be so, we pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.