When you follow your heart rather than the Lord

1 Kings Bible Background

Old Testament: 1Ki 12.25–33

To read the Bible in a year, read First Kings 12–13 on May 6, In the year of our Lord Christ 2019

By Don Ruhl

You undoubtedly hear it said often that you should follow your heart. However, have you noticed that the Bible does not encourage us to follow our hearts, unless our hearts are following the Lord, even then the Lord might have something different that He wants us to do. Jeroboam followed his heart instead of the Lord and it led him away from the Lord:

Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim, and dwelt there. Also he went out from there and built Penuel. And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom may return to the house of David: If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn back to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah.” Therefore the king asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!” And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. He made shrines on the high places, and made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi. Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the feast that was in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did at Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And at Bethel he installed the priests of the high places which he had made. So he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart. And he ordained a feast for the children of Israel, and offered sacrifices on the altar and burned incense.

– 1 Kings 12.25–33

Jeroboam’s heart made him sin against the Lord and as the king of Israel, he led Israel astray also, leading to the eventual Assyrian captivity of the ten tribes. So much for following your heart!

Questions:

  • What do you follow in life?
  • What do you do if your heart tells you one thing but the word of God says another thing?

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