The king was dead. He had appointed his son to rule in his stead. Instead of taking the counsel of older men in the kingdom who had served his father well, the son chose to take the counsel of his young peers to rule his newly inherited subjects. A rift ensued that divided the kingdom in two. It was then a new man-made religion was born.
The Temple in Jerusalem had been the place of worship since King Solomon was directed by God to build it, replacing the Tabernacle used in the wilderness. It was a gleaming edifice covered in gold that was seen for miles around as it sat upon the highest plot of land in the city. King Jeroboam, son of a former servant of Solomon, determined that those in the ten tribes of Israel who had followed him in creating the Northern Kingdom need not return to Jerusalem to worship. His fear was that if his subjects returned to Jerusalem for worship they would reunite with Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, his adversary ruling the lone tribe of Judah that remained loyal to the once great King’s son.
It was in the cities of Dan and Bethel of the Northern Kingdom, Jeroboam set up two golden calves reminiscent of Aaron’s golden calf that greeted Moses on his descent from Mt. Sinai upon receiving the Ten Commandments. King Jeroboam said to his people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel.” Not only did he direct his subjects to worship the golden calves he had made, he:
1. “made an house of high places”
2. “made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi”
3. “ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah”
4. “offered (sacrifices) upon the altar”
5. “sacrificing unto the calves that he had made”
Scripture tells us in 1 Kings 11-12 Jeroboam devised his form of false religion in his own heart. It was not the religion of God but of man. Many cults have come and gone throughout the ages with one thing in common… all were devised by men adding to and taking away from Scripture. There is only one True Way of worshipping God the Father, HIS way. Man can devise all kinds of rituals, chants, beliefs, and prayers that have nothing to do with the God Who made heaven and earth. He has clearly written in His Word how He is to be worshipped and adored; any deviation dooms souls to Hell.