Daily Devotional

August 13, 2019

Daybreak: 1 Kings 16:1-34

“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?” (1 Kings 16:5)

Not long ago, I was summoned for jury service. The rules were quite simple: every week for three months, I would have to call a specific telephone number and see if my juror number had been selected. If it was, the recording would tell me when and where to report for the trial.

The first week I called and listened intently to see if my number had been selected. Numbers went by and finally the closing message was given. I had not been selected. A few weeks went by and still nothing. Then it happened. As juror number 34, I was required to report for trial in the courthouse.

The whole procedure was really quite interesting. In addition to the six jurors (of which I was one), there was a judge, the defendant, two attorneys (prosecuting and defending), a bailiff, a clerk, and a court recorder. I sat and listened while the attorneys stated their cases, called witnesses, and gave arguments. In the course of the trial, one attorney said something that apparently was not appropriate, and the opposing attorney stood and objected. The judge discussed this with both attorneys and ruled that the offending remark must be struck from the record. You see, everything that was said in that room was recorded and kept as a chronicle or history of the trial. The only way it could be removed was by order of the judge.

Like the court case described above, our words and actions are being recorded each day. All of the sins in our lives have been recorded. It is our legacy, unless we put our lives into the hands of Jesus. When, with a repentant heart, we ask Him to forgive us, He strikes our sins from the record.

The thought expressed in the focus verse is found repeatedly throughout 1 and 2 Kings. The actions of each king were chronicled for posterity. So are ours! Let us look for the opportunities to leave a legacy worth remembering, by following the will of God.

Background

1 Kings 16 centers on the kings of Israel. It includes the history of five different kings and spans only fifteen to twenty-five years. It records the fall of the second dynasty of Israel (Baasha and his son, Elah), the rise and fall of the third dynasty (Zimri), and the beginning of the fourth dynasty (Omri and his son, Ahab). Much upheaval took place in Israel during that time. The idolatry started by Jeroboam in the name of God quickly turned into pagan worship of other gods (Baal) by the time of Ahab’s reign.

Baasha did not learn from Jeroboam and the judgment God placed upon him. For twenty-four years, Baasha led Israel in the same sins, and furthermore, he destroyed Jeroboam’s family. In the seven days that Zimri reigned, he managed to exterminate all Baasha’s male descendants, his kinfolks, and his friends, fulfilling the prophet Jehu’s words. 

Omri was the king for twelve years, but for approximately five of those years, his reign was disputed by Tibni. He purchased a three-hundred-foot hill and built Samaria. Its hilltop position made it easily defendable. Also, it was located near an important trade route. 

Jezebel was a Phoenician (Zidonian) princess. Due to her influence, Ahab built an altar and a temple for Baal. The word grove in verse 33 means an idol (see “Pagan Gods” supplement). Ahab was the most wicked king of Israel — what a distinction!

Ahab himself may have encouraged Hiel, the Bethelite, to repair and fortify Jericho (verse 34). However, the curse of Joshua (recorded in Joshua 6:26) was fulfilled, and two of Hiel’s sons died by divine judgment.

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II.   The reigns of the kings of Judah and Israel
      G.   The reign of Baasha of Israel
            2.   The word of Jehu against Baasha (16:1-4)
            3.   The death of Baasha (16:5-7)
      H.   The reign of Elah of Israel (16:8-14)
      I.    The reign of Zimri of Israel (16:15-20)
      J.   The reign of Omri of Israel (16:21-28)
      K.   The reign of Ahab of Israel
            1.   The character of Ahab’s reign (16:29-34)

A Closer Look

  1. What reason did the prophet give Baasha for God’s judgment upon him? What was that judgment?
     
  2. Why did Israel go through so many kings during this time?
     
  3. While many people today do not worship wooden images or make temples for their gods, what do they worship?

Conclusion

Israel had a long line of evil kings, and their actions are recorded for us to read and to learn from. Let us purpose in our hearts to follow the Lord and walk in His paths, that our life stories would bring honor to His name.

Reference Materials