The Dangers of Finding Council Within Ourselves

Posted: January 9, 2011 in Church, Theology
Tags: , ,

So yesterday I wrote a post about the first half of 1 Kings 12. To get the background of the post I am about to write you can visit that blog post here. If you would rather not read it, here is the summary of that post.

  • King Solomon (King David’s son) in the latter part of his life and reign as king, has begun to do many things that prove he is no longer following God and His prescribed way of doing things. He begins to take many wives, gather large amounts of gold, silver, and horses, which Deuteronomy 17 expressly says kings should not do. 1 Kings 11 explains all of this in great detail.
  • So because of Solomon’s turning from the Lord, God punishes Solomon by breaking up the kingdom after Solomon dies through the free-will actions of Solomon’s son Rehoboam and a man named Jeroboam.

This is the beginning of the divided kingdom of Israel. Now in the first half of 1 Kings 12, Rehoboam seems to parallel the horrible Pharaoh from the Exodus account, while Jeroboam seems to be a parallel of Moses. But that does not last very long at all.

Because of a sequence of events, Rehoboam retreats back to Jerusalem and the only tribe that follows him is Judah. All the rest of Israel now makes Jeroboam king over them. Jeroboam builds up two cities for defense from Rehoboam. Now before we focus in on the main topic of this post, I want to quote another scripture. That scripture comes from Jeremiah 17:9. It says,

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

So this verse is clearly stating that fallen man’s heart is probably not the best thing to turn to for advice because it is sick and deceitful. Your own heart is waring against you and does not want you to do the right thing. Doesn’t that just make you hate sin all the more?!

So now that we have an understanding of what God’s word says about our hearts, our free-will, our inner desires, let’s pick it up where we left off with Jeroboam. After Jeroboam builds these two cities up for defense, the Bible says that, “Jeroboam said in his heart, ‘Now the kingdom will turn back to the house of David (1 Kings 12:26).'”

So Jeroboam begins to counsel himself in his own heart about what is going to happen with his people and what he should do about it. Now this doesn’t sound that bad. But listen to what else he says in his deceitful heart.

“If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.”
(1 Kings 12:27)

He is worrying that the people will kill him and return to Jerusalem to worship God. Now the next few verses are just horrifying, and the reason for this is stated in the next five words; “So the king took council…” The rest I will include in a moment, but let us think about within whom Jeroboam took council. Was it God? No, it was from his own wicked and deceitful heart. Now let’s look at the outcome from taking council from within our own heart, without any desire for God’s direction.

[28] So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” [29] And he set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. [30] Then this thing became a sin, for the people went as far as Dan to be before one. [31] He also made temples on high places and appointed priests from among all the people, who were not of the Levites. [32] And Jeroboam appointed a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month like the feast that was in Judah, and he offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he made. And he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places that he had made. [33] He went up to the altar that he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, in the month that he had devised FROM HIS OWN HEART. And he instituted a feast for the people of Israel and went up to the altar to make offerings.
(1 Kings 12:28-33)

Jeroboam continues to rule and reign without any regard for God. Jeroboam makes up new gods and new ways to worship them. His own deceitful heart could not be content with humbly worshiping the true God of Israel. Maybe you are thinking I’m being a little hard on Jeroboam. Maybe you think he just struggled to believe if God really existed. Well if you read the next chapter, God shows himself in a spectacular and powerful way to Jeroboam, and his truly wicked and sinful heart still cannot bring itself to repent and follow God.

As a side note, notice in this text, the devil is not even mentioned. The main focus is on the wickedness of people. I’m not saying that the devil is not involved in this, but I do think the point is worth noting because of all the people that go around shifting the blame from ourselves to the devil in order to not make us seem so bad, it was all the devil.

I wanted to write this post because people are rather quickly being deceived about what the Bible has to say about everything, especially the human condition. Listen to the way people talk, inside and outside the church. You’ll hear a lot of people say, “I think this or that,” or, “I feel like this will work out better this way or that way,” or even, “My heart just tells me that this is okay and I don’t care what God has to say about it.” There is very little meaningful, logical biblical support for anything because people feel that God made everything good and nothing really happened to change that. People are very quick to assume that we are not really that wretched and sinful as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve. On the contrary, the Bible gives us story after story about people displaying their hatred towards God through their actions. If left to ourselves, we will live lives just like these two wicked kings. Because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God has given His chosen people a desire to know Him and His will for our lives, by making us born again (John 3:8) and by granting us repentance (2 Tim. 2:25).

If we continue to stiff-arm God and look into our own hearts for how to run churches, how to lead our families, how to be a good employee, (etc.), we will inevitably create new idols and worship them. One of the biggest one of those idols will be our own self. What’s going to be good for me? What’s going to bring me gain? How can I twist this in order to take attention from God and put it on my true idol?

But, if we look to God through His word, the Bible, we will truly satisfy God. Just read all of King David’s psalm 119. The whole psalm is talking about how if he can only look into God’s law, and not his own sinful heart, he will always succeed. he will always be satisfied, and he will always be safe.

So are you going to go to God for wisdom, council, and all satisfaction? Or are you going to look into your own heart? Pray that God draws you to Himself through His Word. If not, you will always be your worst enemy.

  1. […] The Dangers of Finding Council Within Ourselves ( Posted in: Babe In Christ No Comments Tags: 1 Kings 10, 1 Kings 9, Books of Kings, Cabul, Galilee, God, King Solomon, Solomon, Temple, Tyre Lebanon […]

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