Off The Grid News has recently decided to run a feature each week on Sundays to reflect Biblical and Gospel themes. This week’s theme is titled “The Idol State: Then and Now” this Sunday, Dec. 9. The theme of this week’s feature deals with the biblical narrative of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat.
In this narrative familiar to Christian audiences, we find Israel after the reign of Solomon harassed, over-taxed, overburdened, and in need of a savior. Jeroboam is determined to be that savior. This is a theme that plays out in countries all throughout history, including our own, and is indeed a timely lesson for us today.
As we find in the modern time, when new leadership arises that questions the old guard, tempers flare, positions are stubbornly clung to and solidified, and compromise is replaced with ultimatum. As in the ancient days of Israel, today we have seen the people throw out the old guard and replace it with the new because ultimately, people will always be the same. We are impatient and want immediate gratification, we are attracted to feel-good irrationality, not to the tenets of God’s Word, and because we are as enamored of cult and personality as anyone ever was in the days of Israel.
We have not changed, no matter how modern a society we become.
Jeroboam’s attempt to win the trust of the people of Israel as a figure of authority led him to instate a pair of idols in the form of golden calves. He also built temples and altars that he hoped would encourage the people of Jerusalem to see the calves as a representation of gods, the highest of possible authorities, and planned a mandatory holy feast in their names that would rival the feast of Tabernacles during the time of harvest.
Exploring why Jeroboam chose a calf specifically and what calves and bulls mean in biblical imagery and themes, the feature will discuss the historical significance of the happenings within the narrative, particularly by pulling out details that the average reader may miss on his or her own. The language that Jeroboam uses to describe his calves, for instance, is directly out of Exodus, indicating that he deliberately made homage to God rather than dismissing him outright or necessarily intending to try to replace God. Many other details described within the feature will help explain Jeroboam’s actions, and their relevance to the modern-day narrative.
The feature will also contrast Christianity with pagan religion, or any religion that uses idols or symbols in the same way that Jeroboam did, ending with a word of advice from the book of John: “Little children, keep yourself from idols” (1 Jn. 5:21). Watch for its publication on Sunday, which will appear online at http://www.offthegridnews.com/2012/12/09/the-idol-state-then-and-now/.
Off The Grid News