Jeroboam’s decisions as a leader affected the eternity of an entire nation. Rather than serving and worshiping the Lord, he led others to worship gods of his own making. He walked down a path of false worship and destruction and the people walked in his ways. Following his example propelled them into deep sin. If others were to walk in your ways, where would it lead them?
One of my favorite pictures is an image of my son when he was just two years old, standing at his Little Tikes grill, flipping plastic burgers as he stood in the shadow of my husband cooking on the grill. As I looked on, I watched my son as he glanced at his daddy to copy his every move. Over the years, I have seen each one of my children mimicking the words and actions of their dad on many occasions. It is weighty and humbling to know that your children walk in your ways. The importance of modeling in leadership cannot be exaggerated.
After the death of Solomon, the kingdom of Israel split in two. Judah and Benjamin followed Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, and became known as the Southern Kingdom (Judah). The remaining 10 tribes of Israel followed Jeroboam, becoming known as the Northern Kingdom (Israel).
Jeroboam saw a looming problem with his newly minted kingdom. According to the Law, the people had to worship at the temple in Jerusalem. All males were required to go to the temple three times per year in order to keep festival and make sacrifices (Exodus 23:17, Deuteronomy 16:16). However, the Temple was in Jerusalem which was located in the south.