In II Kings 13, the Bible tells of two of the kings of Israel, Jehoahaz and Jehoash. Neither of these kings was godly. It is of note that they are both described in their relationship to Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the first ruler of the northern kingdom. Verse 2 says that Jehoahaz “followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat”, and verse 11 says that Jehoash “did not turn away from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.”
Jeroboam was the one who split the northern kingdom of Israel from Judah after the days of Solomon. The kingdom was divided ever after. But that is not the extent of the damage he did to God’s people. I Kings 12 tells of how Jeroboam, when he had split the kingdom, believed that the northern tribes would return to Judah if they kept going to Jerusalem to worship, as God had prescribed in His Law. So verse 28 says he made two golden calves for Israel to worship, one in Dan and one in Bethel. He also made priests who were not of the tribe of the tribe of Levi, and established his own festival — in other words, he disregarded God’s commands and set up his own idolatrous religion for the people to follow.
The history of the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel continually refers to how virtually all of them followed “the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” Jeroboam set an ungodly precedent that was followed by his descendants for generations. The Bible makes reference to his ungodly legacy repeatedly, as it does in II Kings 13.
The question each of us should ask ourselves is: “What is MY legacy?”
What kind of heritage are you leaving your children, grandchildren, and others who follow after you in your family, church, and community? The sad legacy of Jeroboam is a reminder to us that the decisions we make do not merely affect us, or our generation, only, but will impact generations to come.
When the chronicles of our histories are written, what will our legacy be?