1 KINGS 14

9 But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:

Sadly, a decline in both Israel and Judah commenced through the influence of Jeroboam. If men of pre-eminence do wrong and lead others along that pathway, they involve many others who are encouraged to follow their example (v. 16; compare vv. 9, 10, 22, 23).

The sin of Jeroboam was that he perverted the divine worship -- and not that he directly opposed it. He neutralized the spirit of David and Solomon within the nation, by tampering and weakening the principle of worship. It was a matter of introducing inferior principles and doctrines, and allowing a deterioration of practice and responsibilities to the Truth established in the policies of David and Solomon.

The festivals, sacrifices, Sabbaths, etc, of the Law continued in the northern kingdom but with deviation (Hos. 2:11; 6:6; 8:13; 9:4). Tithes, etc, were brought to the temple at Bethel (Amos 4:4; 5:21-22). The Psalms of David were heard (Amos 5:23; 6:5), but the people were deterred from worshipping at Jerusalem (Deu. 12:11). There was an encouragement to ignore the fundamental principles of Faith, and to ignore those who were valiant for the Truth in times past.

There was a deliberate change of policy to allow a greater liberty of expression, and political pressure was put on those who desired to uphold the things of the past. There was a neglect of the teaching of the "pioneers," as the spirit of a new epoch was strengthened by the teachings of Jeroboam.

...It is a sad story of failure by a nation that ignored its pioneer spirit of former times and a reminder of our responsibilities to uphold those things in which we rejoiced in time past, and which are continued in the remnant of the faithful.