1 Kings 16

Vv. 1-7. Baasha caused (encouraged) Israel to sin, just as did Jeroboam. V. 3, so now God is going to make his house like the house of Jeroboam. God is no respecter of persons. What was "good for Jeroboam" is "good for Baasha."

Why in the world can not hard headed men, including me, look around and see what happens to others for a specific action, and then avoid that action?

V. 7, and because he killed him... Against Baasha. Baasha fulfilled God's purpose in destroying Jeroboam, but he did not do it with godly motives. Rather, he moved selfishly, for his own glory and protection, (15:29.) though he knew it was God's purpose. Baasha had to pay for his sin.

Vv. 7-11. Baasha died, and his son Elah reigned over Israel. However, his servant Zimri murdered him while he was drunk. Then Zimri killed all of Baasha's house, v. 12.

Observe: Jeroboam worshiped God in his own way, and prospered. God said it was wrong, but Jeroboam still died a natural death after 20 years, and Nabad his son reigned for less than two years. Then Baasha kills Nadab, and sets himself up. He encourages the sin of Jeroboam. Though he receives the same warning as did Jeroboam, he continues on in the sin. Baasha dies a natural death after about 23 years, and his son Elah reigns. After about a year, v. 10, Zimri murders him and all his family, vv. 12, 13.

Both Jeroboam and Baasha reigned over 20 years, and "prospered" in their heresies at Bethel.
Both died a ‘natural death', though a little young.
Both had the same prophecies against them, but ignored the warnings. Both probably died thinking they had escaped the judgement hand of God.
Both of their boys met the same fate—they ad their complete house were killed. Though the boys could have turned to bod, they did not.
Both boys saw their fathers ‘to their own thing', and decided, "If dad can, so can I." (I believe this is what happened with Solomon–he saw his father pursue the things he lusted for, and still prospered as king.)
Both boys paid the price for their fathers' folly, though they did not have to. One paid within a year, and the other within 2 years.

God's hand of judgement may move slow, but it is sure. In his mercy, he allows plenty of time for repentance. WE can rest assured even while we are going our own way and ‘prospering', our sins will catch up, which is a reason we must obey the word of God in every area. Not only Baasha, but his house, kinfolk and even his friends were murdered (16:11). Zimri fulfills the word of the Lord.

V. 16. And the people... Evidently, the army did not like Zimri, who had been captain over part of the chariots. (16:6.) So they decided to do away with him. Zimri only lasted seven days, and Omor, captain over the army, led all the army against th ecity (Tirzah) where Zimri was.

Zimri saw he had no hope of survival, v. 17, so he went in to the king's house and burned it over himself., and died for his sins which he sinned... His conspiracy and murder of his master caught up with him within the 7 days.

Observe: Omri did not pray and seek God's face and ask HIM what to do, but he still accomplished God's will. God controls every event that takes place on this earth.

Deist believe that God set events in motion, and men take over or nature takes its course. I am afraid that a large parentage of Christians are ‘Christian Deist' – "I can control my own destiny. How does everything, even the wrath of ungodly men, fit into God's plan? From the wrath of the most ungodly, to the prayers, faith and works of the most godly all work for God's praise and purpose. His ways are so much beyond finding out, that even if he did tell or show us how it all works, we could not understand it.

Psalms 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

The period of time that I spend trying to serve him when I was unsaved was for his glory, and for my good. How it all works out, I will never understand, though we can look back and see some of what he was doing.

V. 19, he sure did not have much of a chance to make Israel sin.

V. 20, and his treason... Rebellion against authority.

V. 21, for some reason, all the people did not want Omri to be king, but divided between Omri and Tibni, causing a civil war in which Omri won. Omri (v. 23) reigned for 12 years. This time probably counted from v. 16.

V. 24, he bought... A direct violation of Leviticus 25:23. He was the first king to purchase land, other than David who purchased land for an altar.

The land was tied to the family, and was to stay in the family. The land belonged to God. It did not belong to anyone, but was assigned by God to families. The land could not be bought, sold nor taxed.

What started as "You can worship the Lord just as well here at Bethel" with Jeroboam has degenerated from indirect violation of the law (heresy-was still sin) to a direct violation of the law, selling and purchasing the land. Keep in mind, however, Omri could not have the land it if Shemer had not been willing to sell. Again, God gives leaders after our hearts.

V. 25, worse than all that were before him. Heresy of Jeroboam down to buying and selling land.

V. 28, Omri died and Ahab his son reigned in his stead. Ahab was wicked. Up to the time of Ahab, the sin was the sin of Jeroboam, heresy of everyone worship the Lord in his won way. Now it is plain old idolitry, Baal worship.

Omri directly violated the law in purchasing land. Now his son, Ahab, will go much further. Above all that was before him. (He will kill for land.)

God spends more time here with the reign of Ahab than he does any other of Israel's kings. Within Ahab's reign will be Elijah and Elisha. The house of Omori lasts until 2 Kings 10 where Jehu kills all the house of Ahab, his kinfolks and his priests (10:11), including Joram and Ahaziah, both sons of Ahab. 2 Kings 1 & 2 Kings 9. (Caution–both the kings of Judah and the kings of Israel have the same names at the same times, making it very confusing, and difficult to keep track of.)

First, look at the chronology here:

15:9 And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah. So Asa came into power about 20 years after the split which was just after Solomon's death.
16:29, Ahab came to power in the 38th year of ASA making about 58 years since Solomon's death and the division. (Less than 100 ears since David ruled. How like our nation. From its high point of great power and glory under God and for God to a depth of wickedness and open idiolatry.) In this reign of Ahab, we have Elijah the most powerful prophet of God in the Old Testament. Elijah and Elisha.

When wickedness reigns, God brings forth his greatest prophet. (Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:)

Ahab always calls forth Elijah. The more wicked Ahab, the more power God shows through Elijah and Elisha. Evil will not take complete control. God will always have his light.

V. 30. evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.

V. 31. It was ‘nothing' to him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam. He went a step further, and took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethball king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.

Notice the names for more of an insight here.

Jezebel – "Baal exalts" or "Baal is husband to" or "unchaste" This indicates she was along the line of a temple prostitute, considering her father's name.

Ethbaal – "with Baal" or "with him is Baal."

He is said to have been also a priest of Astarte, whose worship was closely allied to that of Baal, and this may account for his daughter's zeal in promoting idolatry in Israel. This marriage of Ahab was most fatal to both Israel and Judah. Dido, the founder of Carthage, was his granddaughter. (Easton, OLB)

Astarte or Ashtoreth was the chief Canaanite Female deity, Baal being the chief male deity.

1. It was nothing to Ahab to walk in the sins of Jeroboam.
2. Married (probably) a temple prostitute from the temple of Ashtoreth. He was the first king of Israel to marry a Canaanite.
3. Went and served Baal and worshiped him. First king of Israel to build a temple to Baal. First king of Israel to go past Jeroboam's sin of heresy and openly worship Baal.
4. v. 32, build in Samaria a house of Baal. First to build a temple for Baal.
5. Reared up an altar for Baal. First to erect an altar for Baal.
6. v. 33, made a grove... The first grove for Astarte, the female Canaanite deity.

Sooner or latter, just simple heresy will not be enough. "Everyone worship God in the way that seems best or is the most convenient or that draws the biggest crowd and most money." The next step is open Idolatry.

V. 34, built Jericho. (Joshua 6:26.) Man is so determined to do wrong:
1. He ignores the prophecy of the word of God.
2. He ignores the reality of the prophecy coming to pass in his own family.

"Leave me alone. I'm doing what I feel is best. It's just a coincidence that my first born went to the devil."