My previous post: Calf and Idol Worship in Israel, kind of covers the info mentioned in today's text. (just a little more indepth).
Monday, February 22nd, 2010
"Here is your God, O Israel." (1 Kings 12:28)
As king of the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel, Jeroboam began to seek ways to strengthen his position. “If this people continues going up to render sacrifices in the house of Jehovah in Jerusalem,” he reasoned, “the heart of this people will also be bound to return to their lord, Rehoboam the king of Judah; and they will certainly kill me and return to Rehoboam the king of Judah.” So Jeroboam established a new religion centered on two golden calves. “Then he placed the one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. And this thing came to be a cause for sin, and the people began to go before the one as far as Dan. And he began to make a house of high places and to make priests from the people in general, who did not happen to be of the sons of Levi.” Jeroboam even invented his own day of “festival for the sons of Israel,” and he proceeded “to make offerings upon the altar to make sacrificial smoke.”—1 Kings 12:26-33.
(Watchtower issue: 8/15/08, 1:11)
on a side note...if you watch the beginning of the movie:
The Story of Ruth, -in particular part 1, part 2, and part 4
it gives an idea, or visual portrayal, of the kind of child sacrifice which the Moabites and Canaanites practiced, which eventually influenced the Israelites. Also the romantic relationship that developed between Ruth and Mahlon (in the movie), shows how the relationships that developed between the Israelites and the surrounding nations (both political and social) was such a big factor in causing the Israelites to adopt false religious practices and wrong behavior, (which applies just as much to us in modern times) as 1 Corinthians 15:33, 34 points out:
"Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits. Wake up to soberness in a righteous way and do not practice sin, for some are without knowledge of God..."