Go, tell Jeroboam, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: Because I exalted you from among the people, and made you ruler over My people Israel, and tore the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it to you; and yet you have not been as My servant David, who kept My commandments and who followed Me with all his heart, to do only what was right in My eyes; but you have done more evil than all who were before you, for you have gone and made for yourself other gods and molded images to provoke Me to anger, and have cast Me behind your back.” (1 Kings 14:7-9)
Casting God Behind The Back
Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, was the usurper of the throne of Israel. After the death of Solomon, Rehoboam, his son, reigned in his place. Following the advice of younger counselors, Rehoboam caused the people of Israel to turn against him, and Jeroboam was made king over Israel. Only the house of Judah followed Rehoboam. To secure his rule firmly, Jeroboam set up calves of gold in Bethel and Dan and changed the feast to the fifteenth day of the eighth month. He made priests of every class of people who were not sons of Levi. The people flocked to the reign of Jeroboam as he turned the nation to the wickedness of idolatry. His reign would last twenty-two years when he would die shortly after the prophetic death of his son, Abijah.
When the son of Jeroboam became sick, Jeroboam sent his wife in disguise to find from the prophet Ahijah whether their son would recover. God told Ahijah who the woman was, and the prophet proclaimed a curse upon the family of Jeroboam. The child Abijah would die the day his mother stepped on the threshold of her home. Shortly after that, Jeroboam would die. God brought judgment upon the house of Jeroboam because the king did not live after the commandments of the Lord as David had done. The king had led the people of God into idolatry and done more evil than any man before him. In charging Jeroboam, the Lord declares the king had gone and made for the people other gods and molded images to provoke the wrath of God and cast God behind the back.
Sin is a rejection of God. To walk in the way of wickedness is to cast the Lord behind the back. Figuratively, this is a symbol of contempt, hatred, disdain, and disrespect of God. Rejecting God’s will is to willfully disobey the command of the Lord with a spirit of despising the nature of the Divine. Jeroboam had fully sought to please himself and his carnal nature satisfying his lusts and desires with no regard to God. His heart was so firmly set on the evil he had no pleasure in righteousness. Rebellion can lead to a soul hardened with the deceitfulness of sin where there is no return. Casting God behind the back is the final act of defiance against a righteous and just God.
Jeroboam had gone so far away from the path of truth, he could not be redeemed. Sin is a transgression of God’s law, but the son of Nebat had totally turned his back on God and sought salvation in his own way. There is no hope when a man goes that far. Turning away from the only source of salvation is the greatest tragedy of men.
It is difficult to battle sin on a daily basis and find victory at every turn. The constant battle of a child of God is to seek the mercies of the Lord while fighting the dangers of sin. Through the grace of God, forgiveness is granted to penitent hearts and willing minds ready to seek the Lord. Jeroboam is an example of a man who had gone so far away from God no redemption could be found. Casting God behind the back is a final act of disdain. He had turned his life away from the will of the Father. Sin can affect God’s children to the point of destruction. Satan is seeking to destroy the life of the Christian, and his great success is when he can convince a child of God to turn his back on God. Once accomplished, the soul is lost, and Satan has gained a minion.
The lesson would be to keep the Lord before the heart, always seeking the favors and mercies of God to forgive sins, obeying the commandments of the Lord, and living as close to the Divine nature as possible. It is easy for a soul to cast God behind them and what danger awaits those who reject the will of God. Jeroboam lost his child, his life, and his soul. He may have cast God behind his back, but the Lord God will be in front of him on judgment day, and there will be no place to cast God anywhere. Sadly, it is Jeroboam who will be cast away. Where is God in your life?