Saturday, March 17, 2012

1 Kings 16 - Bad Kings of Israel

LINK: 1 Kings 16
Parallel Passage: 2 Chronicles 16:1-6

BACKGROUND

Now we are back to the book of 1 Kings with a brief overview of the next four kings of Israel (Baasha is a continuation of 1 Kings 15). It is hard to get them all straight so click on the "Kings of Israel and Judah" page above if you want a general overview.

Keep in mind that ALL the kings of Israel were BAD and only eight out of the twenty kings of Judah were GOOD. 

Here is an overview of the bad kings of Israel in this chapter:


Baasha of Israel (no relation to previous kings) - 1 Kings 15:33-16:7
Reigned: 909-886 BC for 24 years
Character: Bad, walked in the way of Jeroboam
Overlap with Judah's king: Asa (911-870 B.C.)
Manner of death: Natural
Parallel story: 2 Chronicles 16:1-6

Elah of Israel - 1 Kings 16:8-14
Reigned: 886-885 B.C. for 2 years
Character: Bad
Elah "provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger by their [Baasha and Elah] worthless idols" (1 Kings 16:13). 

Overlap with Judah's King: Asa (911-870 B.C.)

Manner of death: Assassination by Zimri, one of his officials. His whole family was later killed, fulfilling the prophecy of Jehu (1 Kings 16:3).

Zimri of Israel - 1 Kings 16:9-20
Reigned: 885 B.C. for 7 days
Character: Bad
Zimri did "evil in the eyes of the LORD and walking in the ways of Jeroboam and in the sin he had committed and had caused Israel to commit" (1 Kings 16:19).
Overlap with Judah's king: Asa (911-870 B.C.) 

Manner of death: Suicide while under siege from Omri

Omri of Israel - 1 Kings 16:21-28
Reigned: 885-874 B.C. for 12 years (with six of them fighting with Tibni for control)
Character: Extra Bad
Omri "did evil in the eyes of the LORD and sinned more than all those before Him . . . provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger by their worthless idols(1 Kings 16:24-25).
Overlap with Judah's king: Asa (911-870 B.C.)

Manner of death: Natural (buried in his new capital city of Samaria)
Omri was probably the strongest leader of the Northern Kingdom up to that time. Assyrian records dating from over a century later refer to Israel as "the land of Omri." During Omri’s reign Ben-Hadad I, king of the Arameans in Damascus, continued to add to his holdings to the north of Israel. Omri’s son, Ahab, had difficulty containing these Aramean aggressors. Also the Assyrian Empire was growing stronger and farther to the northeast under AshurnaŠĻ£irpal II (883-859) and proceeded to expand its territory as far west as the Mediterranean Sea. Faced by these threats on his north, Omri was able to protect Israel well enough to attack and defeat Moab to the southeast at the same time. This victory is referred to on the famous Moabite Stone. Another of Omri’s significant achievements was his alliance with the Phoenicians which was sealed with the marriage of his son Ahab to Jezebel, a daughter of the Phoenician king, Ethbaal (cf. 1 Kings 16:31).  
Though Omri is passed over quickly in 1 Kings, he was a powerful and politically effective king. But the major concern of the writer of 1 Kings was Omri’s spiritual condition. In this he was the worst Israelite king so far (vv. 25-26).
(The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Volume 1:521-522)
Ahab of Israel1 Kings 16:29-22:40
Reigned: 874-853 B.C. for 22 years
Character: The Worst
Ahab "did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him" (1 Kings 16:30).
Overlap with Judah’s King: Jehoshaphat (873-848 B.C.) 

Manner of Death: Stay tuned!

We will be going over the reign of Ahab in detail over the coming days, but tomorrow, you will be introduced to a man of God, Elijah!

REFLECTION 

Read and follow through on the Reflection and Application from 1 Kings 15 if you have not already done so. 

Here it is again if you missed reading it the first time:

When I read "walked in the ways of Jeroboam," I wonder what "way" my kids might walk after me. Do my activities model being "wholly devoted to the Lord"?

APPLICATION

Here is a very good application of this chapter from The Daily Walk, April 4, 2008, p. 9:
Using the numbers 1 through 7 only once, rate the following seven influences in the order that you feel that they have affected the lives of your children (or your own life). Use 1 for "most influential," 2 for "next most influential," etc. 
__Television 
__Parents 
__ School
 __ Internet 
__Church 
__Friends 
__Brothers/Sisters 
The epitaph, "he walked in the ways of his father," could be penned over almost every king you will read about . . . With surprising regularity the son became a carbon copy of his father, patterning his spiritual and moral actions after those of his parent. 
Parent, if your child walks in your ways, will you be happy or horrified? Tonight before going to bed, give your children the above quiz. Then discuss ways that your family can walk in the ways of the Lord. 
PRAYER

Lord, draw us to You. Help our hearts to be wholly devoted to You and may that devotion be manifested in our actions that we model to our watching children and the world around us. May Christ shine through us in everything we do because it is for You we live, and move, and have our being. We pray this to the Glory of Christ our King. Amen.
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