A prophet, a man of God, cried out to Jeroboam, declaring that Josiah would be born and that he would kill the priests of the high places on the altar. The sign would be that the altar would split apart. King Jeroboam instructed the guards to arrest the man of God, but when he pointed to him, his hand withered and the altar split apart. The man of God entreated the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored. Jeroboam offered him a reward, but the man of God refused, because the Lord had instructed him not to eat or drink, or return by the way he came. So he went another way.
A prophet heard of what the man of God had done, and found him, offering him food and shelter. The man of God originally refused, but the old prophet said that an angel of the Lord told him to feed the man of God, but he was lying. The man of God went with him, and ate and drank. After he had eaten, the prophet told him that because he had disobeyed God, that his body would not even make it to his tomb. When the man of God left, a lion attacked him and he was killed. The prophet went and collected his body and buried him. The prophet declared that the man of God’s prophecy would come true, but Jeroboam did not heed the warning, and continued in his evil ways. He consecrated priests for the high places, which would eventually bring destruction.
The moral of this story is summed up in one word: follow-through. The man of God delivered the message from the Lord, and Jeroboam was warned. All he had to do was go home (by a different path). Instead, he believed a lie (that God had changed His mind) and it cost him his life. It is great that he followed most of God’s instructions, but it is better to follow all of God’s instructions, because God’s plan has no flaws. When we get ahead or lag behind God, we always find trouble. Stay side by side with the Lord.