After King Solomon’s death his son, Rehoboam, became king. Ten of the twelve tribes rebelled against his rule and formed the northern kingdom of Israel under the leadership of Jeroboam. In order to keep the people of the northern kingdom from returning to worship at Jerusalem, Jeroboam had two calves of gold made. One he set up in Bethel and the other in Dan. The Bible says that the people went as far as Dan to worship. The Scriptures also state that he made priest from every class of people who were not Levites and built shrines on high places. (I Kings 12) All this was a clear violation of God’s commands.
After Jeroboam died his son, Nadab, became king. He walked in the way of his father and in his sin by which he made Israel sin. (I Kings 15:26) Baasha assassinated him and became king. He walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin by which he made Israel sin. (I Kings 15:33) Omri, Ahab, Ahaziah, Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam II, Zechariah, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah, were all kings of Israel and all who walked in the way of Jeroboam who made Israel sin. For almost 200 years the northern kingdom of Israel was influenced by the sin of one man. It came to an end when God brought the Assyrian army against them and carried them captive to Assyria.
Scripture says that God had warned them by sending prophets to turn them from their evils ways and to keep His commandments. But “they would not hear, but stiffened their necks like the neck of their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God.” (II Kings 17:14)
The incredible hold that sin can have! It ruins lives and can ruin a nation. And in the future it is going to ruin the whole world. (Is 13:17) In Jeroboam’s case, he out right rejected the Lord and because of his position as king he had a significant impact on the lives of many people in a very negative way. If Jeroboam had obeyed God, his influence would have made a major difference in the nation of Israel and in the lives of people. In light of the two possibilities, what kind of influence are we having on the lives of those around us?