anxious idolatry

Jereboam was a servant of Solomon, and God decided to make him king over the (divided) nation of Israel (1 Kings 11:26-40). Jereboam went from nothing to ruling a kingdom and it was a gift from God, he had done nothing for it. You would think that, of all people, Jereboam would realise that everything has been given to him by God, and that knowledge would lead to a life marked by trusting and following Him out of heart-felt gratitude. Unfortunately, once he had the kingdom, he starts to worry about losing it and comes up with his own plan to make sure he will keep it (1 Kings 12:25-33). Before long this has ended up in nationwide idolatry - encouraging the people to worship 2 golden calves and setting up his own religious feasts and rituals.

It's easy to look at Jereboam and recognise his stupidity, but we do exactly the same thing! Everything we have is a gift from God. Your spouse, your house and your salvation are all gracious gifts from him. When we forget that, we start to worry about losing those things and hatching our own plans to control and keep them. Before long, we are worshiping and sacrificing at the golden calves of approval, finances or our own moral performance. Don't be stupid! God gave you the gift in the first place, worship the giver, not the gift.