09 September 2011

Too Much

Because of Solomon’s idolatry, his kingdom was rent in twain, and the 10 northern tribes were given to the rule of a man by the name of Jeroboam.  This was prophesied in 1 Kings 11, during the days of Solomon (whose resulting attempts to kill Jeroboam were unsuccessful), and it came to pass in 1 Kings 12, at the outset of the reign of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son.

However, it didn’t take long for Jeroboam to slip into the same idolatry that got the kingdom taken away from the house of David.  He set up a couple of golden calves and proclaimed these to be the gods that brought up Israel out of Egypt (sound familiar?). 

And he offered this lame excuse (in 1 Kings 12:28), "It is TOO MUCH for you to go up to Jerusalem…”

Basically, Jeroboam said, “God commanded us to worship in Jerusalem.  God commanded us to offer sacrifice in Jerusalem.  God commanded us to observe certain feasts in Jerusalem.  But He’s really asking too much.  Instead let’s just do this…”

That was almost 3,000 years ago.  Sadly, the same lame excuse is still being put to use by many of God’s people.  What the Bible calls “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1) many times we think of as “too much.”

Church three times a week…is it really necessary?
Fellowship, activities, outreach…don’t you guys have a life?
Daily Bible reading and prayer and scripture memory…aren’t you being a little fanatical?
Dressing like a Christian all the time…you don’t really want your friends to think you’re weird, do you?
All that witnessing and passing out tracts and public ministry…isn’t it just a little overboard?
God doesn’t really expect me to abandon all my desires and just “seek His will for my life,” does He?

There may be some other area of obedience that you just think is extreme, but the point is that we need to transform our thinking (Romans 12:2) and look at presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to the Lord the same way that God sees it. Not as fanatical, not as not as excessive, not as overboard, not as too much – but as reasonable service.