1 Kings 12:33 "Then he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteen day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised in his own heart; and he instituted a feast for the sons of Israel and went up to the altar to burn incense."

Our verse today shows the departure and the motive of Jeroboam as he led a rebel group away from King Rehoboam. Solomon's son, Rehoboam made a unpopular move. He raised the taxes and tightened his hand around the throat of the nation. The people had enough. They revolted, rebelled and divided away from the nation. Another nation was formed. Jeroboam was made the king of what was called Israel. A huge portion of the nation went along with the revolt.

Immediately following the split, the new king, Jeroboam, introduced a series of religious changes. Fearing the people may return to Judah, especially, when the law required them to go to Jerusalem for feast days, he found ways to keep them from going to Jerusalem.

• He changed the object of worship to golden calves (28)
• He changed the location of worship to Dan and Bethel (29)
• He changed the order of the priests to all tribes (31)
• He changed the day of the worship to the eighth month (32)

And our verse today identifies his reasoning, "which he had devised in his own heart."

When one looks the changes Jeroboam started, the new way became more convenient, there were two places to worship, and a lot closer to home; and it was more appealing, any one could be a priest, not just the Levites. These changes did not bring the nation closer to God. Instead, it was the beginning that would unravel and come apart and eventually insult and anger God so much that He would put an end to it by having a foreign nation come and destroy them.

Changes. Some are needed. Some are good. Some bring us closer to God. Others, not so. Some, like Israel experienced, took them away from the Lord. It seems in many congregations there is an under the surface tension between older members and younger members. The older members cling to the ways things have been done. They like things that way. They feel safe and feel that it has weathered many storms. The younger members tire of the old traditions. Same ole' same ole', all the time gets old with them. They want changes. New, faster songs. Change the order of worship. Change the style of things. Many of the changes that younger folks want are needed. Some worship services have grown stale and dull. It's been years since life has been added to things. Now, those not solid in God's word, like Jeroboam, want changes that are off the charts. Some want to introduce things that should never be suggested. The radical ideas make other suggestions questioned.

I'm one who tends to lean toward the change. I like to keep things fresh and alive. For folks who are wired like I am, we must continually go back to the word of God. Our drive for new and innovative can be a step away from that which is not authorized. We must walk carefully, think things through and consider how others, who are not so driven as we are, will be affected. Jeroboam's mistake was that he devised the changes. He wanted to keep the people with him. There was too much of Jeroboam in Jeroboam. That is usually the down fall of any of us. God wants us to worship in spirit and in truth. It's not just spirit alone. Nor is it just truth alone. It's that balance, right spirit with right ways.