This is one of those passages in the bible that when you finish reading it you think to yourself, wow that was crazy! I may be the only one who does that, but what we see is the completion of a temple that should have never been built. Jeroboam is all ready to make his offering upon the altar when the man that God sent speaks up. He tells Jeroboam that the altar would be torn down and burnt. This did not go over well with Jeroboam. He responds by telling his guards to seize the man. As he points at the man his hand dries up and becomes old and withered.
What we see at this point in the passage is the result of disobedience. There are consequences for all of our actions in life, especially sin. Jeroboam was not supposed to build this temple, and God made it clear through the man that He would tear it down.
This is the point where I tend to identify the most with Jeroboam. Instead of owning up to his disobedience and confessing and accepting the consequence he digs his hole deeper and loses a hand as a result. How often do you find yourself being unwilling to accept the consequences of your disobedience?
He ends up getting his hand back, however, but the story just continues to get worse. In the end the man of God falls into disobedience himself and it costs him his life. Even after this happens and Jeroboam knows that it is because of disobedience he still does not turn from his ways. He still defies the Lord.
It is sometimes difficult to understand why God would be so harsh. But when we really take a step back and recognize who God is, we all deserve so much worse. I can look at Jeroboam and wonder why he is being stupid, but then I realize I am looking in a mirror. This makes me very thankful for the grace of Jesus and hyper aware of my sin and need for confession and grace.
By: Dakota Gragg — Student Ministry Associate