Saturday, February 2, 2008

1 Kings 15:25 - 16:7

What is this passage all about?

Nadab (Jeroboam's son) became king of Israel but was soon killed by Baasha, who then ruled over Israel for two decades. Baasha killed Jeroboam's whole family, but was also an idolater, and was condemned by God's prophet for both these things.

What can I learn from this?

Jeroboam had been warned by Ahijah the prophet at Shiloh that God would destroy his entire family (1 Kings 14:9-11) through another king of Israel that God would raise up (1 Kings 14:14). This prophecy came truesoon after Jeroboam's death. Jeroboam's son Nadab succeeded him (15:25) and followed in his evil ways (15:26). Nadab and Israel beseiged a Philistine town, Gibbethon. Baasha, son of Ahijah, took this opportunity to kill Nadab (15:27). Baasha then killed the rest of Jeroboam's family also (15:29), becoming the weapon of God's judgement upon Jeroboam's sin (15:30). Was Baasha the son of the same Ahijah who prophesied Jeroboam's rise to kingship over Israel (1 Kings 11:29-31) and his demise? I am not sure, but it does seem possible.

Baasha was no better than Jeroboam. He "did evil in the eyes of the LORD, walking in the ways of Jeroboam" (15:34). God announced through another prophet, Jehu son of Hanani, that the same fate which had befallen Jeroboam's descendants would befall Baasha's also (16:1-4, cf 14:11). This judgement was made not just because of Baasha's idolatrous sin (in the way of Jeroboam), but also because Baasha had made God angry by destroying the family of Jeroboam. The prophet's message (16:7) describes Baasha: "provoking him [the LORD] to anger by the things he did, and becoming like the house of Jeroboam - and also because he destroyed it." It seemed that although God had promised to raise up a king who would cut off the family of Jeroboam, He still was angered by the murders He had decreed.

How can I apply this to my own life?

It seems from this passage that it can be easy to take upon oneself the responsibility to bring about God's plans all on one's own. There is no indication in this passage that Baasha was told by one of God's prophets that he was the one God had chosen. That doesn't rule out the possibility that that was indeed the case. If Ahijah was his father, he would have been aware of the original prophecy at least. I need to be wary that I do not act as Baasha did and presume upon God's will. If something doesn't fit with the Gospel, or the Christian life described in the gospels and epistles, then I shouldn't try to convince myself that it's part of God's special plan for me. I can't think of anything at the moment that thi

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