In the first reading today from 1 Kings 12 and 13, we read about Jeroboam. Jeroboam was one of the kings of Israel. He was not a good guy. More on him in a moment. In our Gospel reading from Mark 8, we read of Jesus feeding four thousand with seven loaves and a few fish. After all had eaten, there were seven baskets left over.
Like many who come into positions of power, Jeroboam was corrupt. He wanted nothing more than to maintain his power over the people. He knew that if the people went to offer sacrifices in the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, their hearts “will return to their master, Rehoboam, king of Judah, and they will kill me.” So wicked Jeroboam comes up with a plan. He manufactures two golden calves and tells the people, “Here is your God, O Israel.” Because he was their leader, the people bit.
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Jeroboam was a prime example of this. He pulls a fast one on his people, trying to divert their attention in order to keep control over them. Have you ever done anything underhanded to try to divert attention from your bad intentions? Ever pull a fast one on someone so that you wouldn’t get caught doing something wrong? Let’s ask God to purify our intentions so that we may never have to go down that road.
Father, help us to always perform a motivation check on why we do what we do. Show us those places where our motives are impure, and keep us from evil. Amen.