April 18, 2007
I Kings 15-17
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- Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah.
- Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.
- And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father.
- Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem:
- Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
- And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.
- Now the rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.
- And Abijam slept with his fathers; and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead.
- And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah.
- And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.
- And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father.
- And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.
- And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron.
- But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the LORD all his days.
- And he brought in the things which his father had dedicated, and the things which himself had dedicated, into the house of the LORD, silver, and gold, and vessels.
- And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
- And Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
- Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Ben-hadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,
- There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver and gold; come and break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.
- So Ben-hadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of the hosts which he had against the cities of Israel, and smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abel-beth-maachah, and all Cinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali.
- And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building of Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah.
- Then king Asa made a proclamation throughout all Judah; none was exempted: and they took away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha had builded; and king Asa built with them Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah.
- The rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Nevertheless in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet.
- And Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead.
- And Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over Israel two years.
- And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.
- And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon.
- Even in the third year of Asa king of Judah did Baasha slay him, and reigned in his stead.
- And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite:
- Because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, by his provocation wherewith he provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger.
- Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
- And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
- In the third year of Asa king of Judah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, twenty and four years.
- And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.
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- Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying,
- Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people Israel; and thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made my people Israel to sin, to provoke me to anger with their sins;
- Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his house; and will make thy house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
- Him that dieth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth of his in the fields shall the fowls of the air eat.
- Now the rest of the acts of Baasha, and what he did, and his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
- So Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried in Tirzah: and Elah his son reigned in his stead.
- And also by the hand of the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani came the word of the LORD against Baasha, and against his house, even for all the evil that he did in the sight of the LORD, in provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam; and because he killed him.
- In the twenty and sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah the son of Baasha to reign over Israel in Tirzah, two years.
- And his servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him, as he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza steward of his house in Tirzah.
- And Zimri went in and smote him, and killed him, in the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his stead.
- And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.
- Thus did Zimri destroy all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake against Baasha by Jehu the prophet,
- For all the sins of Baasha, and the sins of Elah his son, by which they sinned, and by which they made Israel to sin, in provoking the LORD God of Israel to anger with their vanities.
- Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
- In the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah. And the people were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines.
- And the people that were encamped heard say, Zimri hath conspired, and hath also slain the king: wherefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp.
- And Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah.
- And it came to pass, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king's house, and burnt the king's house over him with fire, and died,
- For his sins which he sinned in doing evil in the sight of the LORD, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, to make Israel to sin.
- Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and his treason that he wrought, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
- Then were the people of Israel divided into two parts: half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king; and half followed Omri.
- But the people that followed Omri prevailed against the people that followed Tibni the son of Ginath: so Tibni died, and Omri reigned.
- In the thirty and first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri to reign over Israel, twelve years: six years reigned he in Tirzah.
- And he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria.
- But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all that were before him.
- For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin, to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger with their vanities.
- Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and his might that he shewed, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
- So Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria: and Ahab his son reigned in his stead.
- And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years.
- And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.
- And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.
- And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.
- And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.
- In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun.
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- And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
- And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
- Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
- And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.
- So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
- And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
- And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
- And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
- Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
- So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
- And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
- And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
- And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
- For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
- And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
- And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.
- And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.
- And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?
- And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.
- And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?
- And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.
- And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.
- And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.
- And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.
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Thought for the day:
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Today's passage tells us a little bit about King Asa. His father was Abijam, and he did not serve the Lord. Thankfully, Asa chose to follow God.
I Kings 15:9-13 tells us that he reigned for 41 years, and during that time he attempted to do that which was right as David had. I find it interesting to note how Asa showed forth his relationship with Jehovah. First of all,
verse 12 states that he removed the sodomites from the land. As we have discussed earlier, homosexuality is a terrible sin, and is condemned not only under the Mosaic Law, but in the New Testament as well. Asa was aware of how perverted this lifestyle choice was, and he removed all vestiges of it from the country. Second, he removed all the idols that had been made, even those created by his own ancestors. Asa knew that moral purity could only come as a result of spiritual purity, so he removed all the false gods from Judah as well. If there were no idols to worship, men would not be tempted to worship them. Third, he took a stand even against his own mother. It would be hard enough to stand up against the immoral, and harder still to stand against the idolater, but when your convictions require you to stand up against your own Mom and you follow through on them, then it is safe to say that you are vitally committed to doing what God says. Not only did Asa stand up to his mother verbally, but he went so far as to remove her from her position as queen because she was practicing idolatry. He finished the job by taking her idol, demolishing it, and then burning it.
It is obvious that Asa was a great king. The Bible records this for us (
vs. 14). Yet even great kings can have flaws. David did, and so did Solomon. Even spiritual people who really love the Lord can make poor decisions. We should never assume that just because we did right yesterday that we will automatically continue to do right today. Therefore we must always be on our guard, and not allow anything in our lives that could take us away from the Lord. Asa removed the sodomites and the idols, but according to
verse 14 he did not remove the "high places." These were the locations of the altars that were built to pagan deities. What Asa did was this: he removed the idols, but allowed the places of idol worship to remain. Unfortunately, in the years to come, the backslidden Jews returned to these groves and resumed their idolatry.
A good principle to learn from this passage is that we have the responsibility not only to remove sin from our lives, but also to remove the temptation to sin as well. For example, it would be foolish to give up the consumption of alcoholic beverages and yet keep beer in the refrigerator. It would be ridiculous to decide to quit smoking and yet keep cigarettes around the house. When a person decides that they are going to practice holiness, they need to get rid of the things that might hinder them from following through with their decision. If a teenager has a hard time doing right when he hangs around with a certain friend, then he needs to distance himself from the other young man. If a person can't control what he watches on TV, then he should get rid of the TV. If he can't control what he views on the computer, then he needs to get rid of the Internet. If he can't behave when he goes to a certain place, then he shouldn't go there. What ever it takes to get pure and stay pure is what the Christian must be willing to do.
The model prayer states, "lead us not into temptation," (
Matt. 6:13). Why would we ask God to keep us from temptation, and then willingly choose to surround ourselves with temptation? Distance yourself from all that might tempt you to return to sin, and you will find yourself much more able to resist.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery