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The Northern Kingdom

The Northern Kingdom

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Those of you who have followed my writings very much, know that I was raised on a farm amidst just about all types of farm livestock imaginable.

Dogs have always been my favorite animal but not too far behind that, came the calves.

My memories of calves are precious.

They come into this world with long, gangly, unsteady legs and it takes about 24 hours or so before they become steady enough for it to do very much.

It is equipped with a small head almost identical to it's mother, but much more beautiful.The Pagan worship of calves began very early, some say as early as 3100 BC.

The Egyptians worshipped and revered a bull calf named Apis which was supposed to have been born of a cow and was caused by a stroke of lightning which hit her.

After the calf, fathered by lightning, was born, he and his mother were revered and she was never able to have another calf.In the account given in Exodus 31, after the Israelites hd been miraculously led out of Egyptian bondage, and when they arrived at Mt Sinai, God called Moses to come up into the mountain to receive the ten commandments.

He was upon the mountain for 40 days.

Even though the Israelites had just witnessed the many miraculous acts God had performed to secure their release from Egypt, they became restless at the long absence of Moses.

Here in a few verses is what occurred.And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.

And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.

And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

(Exodus 32:1-4)Notice the last sentence in those verses.

I know that Aaron knew better than this so we have to assume that he was only trying to placate the throngs.

And the bad part is, the rest of Israelites also knew better.

But the point I wish to get across in this is that they intended this to be worship to Jehovah God, not actually the calf.Regardless of their intent, it was highly displeasing to God as well as to Moses.

If you read on in the chapter, you will see that God ordered Moses to get down from the mountain and stop their madness.

The people were punished in that they were made to drink of the water which Moses had ground the golden calf into dust and spread on the water.

Also 3,000 of them were slain with the sword.

Further, King Saul, King David and King Solomon, the first three kings over Israel, reigned 40 years each.

Under these kings, the people were made to worship in Jerusalem at the temple, this was by the edict of God.

When Solomon's son, Rehoboam became king and acted very foolishly, the kingdom split leaving only Judah and Benjamin left with him.

The other 10 tribes followed Jeroboam, son of Nebat, and eventually located the kingdom in Samaria.

This kingdom was referred to as Israel, or the northern kingdom, while the two tribes which remained headquartered in Jerusalem became recognized as Judah, or the southern kingdom.Jeroboam feared that the devout Jews under his rule would desire to continue their pilgrimages to Jerusalem to worship, which was probably a good assessment.

He decided to establish two places of worship in their area in order to keep them from going to Jerusalem, fearing that many might decide to remain there.He had two golden calves made and he set one in Bethel and one in Dan and then made very much the same statement that Aaron had made back at Mount Sinai:Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt (1 Kings 12:28).Following this, a number of statements are made, condemning this and referring to it as a "great sin".

Also, the northern kingdom never again had a "good" king and suffered many things from their enemies and were finally taken into bondage, never to again be a nation of itself.Few, if any, today worship golden calves.

But many attempt to worship God in ways he has not authorized, which is exactly the same thing.

We also "play" with pagan celebrations and call them celebrations to God.

Exactly what the Israelites did.

We need to be extremely careful that our worship towards God, is precisely as He has prescribed.

When we face Him in Judgment, it will be too late to say, "But...I thought..." You might also enjoy these:U.S.

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http://www.examiner.com/x-12751-Birmingham-Biblical-Examiner~y2009m7d9-The-Golden-Calves-Of-The-Bible
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