I Kings 14:1-18, 22-28; 2 Chronicles 11:5-10, 18-23, 12:1-12; Psalm 89
Judah, under King Rehoboam, began living like the ungodly people God had driven out of the Promised Land. So when the king of Egypt attacked, God removed his protection over Judah and the Israelites were defeated.
The enemy invaded the temple and took the beautiful gold pieces Solomon had commissioned. What Solomon intended to serve the temple for generations were lost because of his own son.
Rehoboam probably didn’t have the resources his dad had. Or maybe he didn’t think temple utensils were all that important. Whatever the reason, he hired craftsmen to make replacement shields. The ones that were stolen were gold. Rehoboam’s replacements were bronze. Polished up, they probably looked like gold from a distance. But closer inspection couldn’t hide the fact they were not the original. They just couldn’t compare.
I might be grasping at straws here, but I wonder if some of our churches have replaced the gold of the Bible for the bronze of a politically correct, feel-good replacement. It still looks like a church, but upon close inspection you can tell it isn’t the original.
God’s holiness, his demands for our holiness, his law and the consequences for breaking those laws don’t always leave us feeling good about ourselves. Proclaiming Jesus as the only way to the Father doesn’t always sit well with non-believers. Holding the Bible up as the standard for living upsets people who think they have a better idea.
But any other gospel is no gospel at all. It’s a poor imitation. And, in the end, it cannot stand up to closer inspection.
What is your church made of? I pray you are involved in a solid gold fellowship where Jesus is honored and God is worshiped in all his holiness. I pray, like Paul, you stand united, not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because it alone has the power to save.
Let’s toss out the bronze and hold on to the gold.