“From all the tribes of Israel, those who sincerely wanted to worship the LORD, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem, where they could offer sacrifices to the LORD...
This strengthened the kingdom of Judah and for three years…they faithfully followed in the footsteps of David and Solomon.”
“But when Rehoboam was firmly established and strong, he abandoned the Law of the LORD, and all Israel followed him in this sin.”
2 Chronicles 11:16-17; 12:1 NLT
Ever play the children’s game, “Follow the Leader?” Everyone must follow every movement of the person in front, or they are out! The game is fun unless the leader decides to do something dangerous. Then, you may WANT to be out!
After Jeroboam split the tribes of Israel, he set up idols and built pagan shrines for worship. However, there were some who wisely perceived Jeroboam was leading them down a dangerous path, so they wanted “out!” Desiring to worship the LORD, these people followed the Levites to Jerusalem, and their choice strengthened the kingdom of Judah. (11:17)
However, after only three years, King Rehoboam in Jerusalem abandoned the Law of the LORD, and those same people followed him in this sin, a choice that eventually destroyed them.
What caused the difference in their choices of WHO to follow? Initially, the children of Israel had sincere hearts to worship the LORD, so they followed leaders with hearts after God. But later they followed an evil leader who did not seek the LORD with all his heart.” (12:14)
Choices come from the heart. Sadly, the hearts of the Israelites who at one time wanted to seek the LORD were later swayed by a king who did NOT.
No wonder God admonished us to guard our hearts!
If we don’t, we may end up following the wrong leader!