Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 3p (sermon at 3:45); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

2022.06.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Kings 15:1–24

Read 1 Kings 15:1–24

Questions from the Scripture text: When did who become king over Judah (1 Kings 15:1)? How long did he reign (1 Kings 15:2)? Where? What was his mother’s name? Who was she (cf. 2 Chronicles 11:21)? In what did he walk (1 Kings 15:3)? To Whom wasn’t His heart loyal? Whose has been? For whose sake, has Yahweh done what (1 Kings 15:4)? What had David done (1 Kings 15:5)? In what matter had David turned aside? What had happened in the previous reign in Judah (1 Kings 15:6)? Where can’t you read about what Abijam did (1 Kings 15:7)? What final note does verse 7 make about him? What two things happen to him in 1 Kings 15:8? Who reigns in his place? When does who become what (1 Kings 15:9)? How long does he reign, where (1 Kings 15:10)? Who is mentioned again (cf. 1 Kings 15:2)? What did he do (1 Kings 15:11)? Like whom? What did he do to what persons (1 Kings 15:12)? What did he remove? Whom else did he remove (1 Kings 15:13)? Why? What did he do to it? What did he fail to do (1 Kings 15:14a)? Despite what reality (verse 14b)? What did he bring into where (1 Kings 15:15)? What was the relation of the north and south (1 Kings 15:16)? What did Baasha king of Israel do (1 Kings 15:17)? To do what? What did Asa take out of where (1 Kings 15:18, cf. 1 Kings 15:15, 1 Kings 14:26)? To whom did he send them? To get him to do what (1 Kings 15:19)? What effect did this have upon Baasha’s project (1 Kings 15:20-21)? What did Asa do with the project materials (1 Kings 15:22)? What else had Asa done, and what seemingly random detail does 1 Kings 15:23 provide? What two things happen to him in 1 Kings 15:24? Who reigns in his place?

What matters most to God in a king (or anyone else)?  1 Kings 15:1–24 looks forward to the first serial reading in morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these twenty-four verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that what matters most is the heart, and that even men who have wicked ones may yet find covenant mercy from God for the sake of His redeeming love toward their parents and them.

Rehoboam’s dead (cf. 1 Kings 14:31), but Jeroboam son of Nebat is still going strong. His reign spans Abijam (1 Kings 15:1) too, into Asa (1 Kings 15:9). The Lord continues being extremely selective with what He reports (cf. 1 Kings 15:71 Kings 15:23), so it behooves us to see what it is that He selects.

Abijam’s case is very interesting. The only thing we really hear about him is that he is wicked like Rehoboam (1 Kings 15:3a) rather than godly like David (verse 3b). In fact, David’s godliness (1 Kings 15:4-5) gets more text than Abijam’s sin. Even when it gives us the tidbit that there was war between him and Jeroboam, that’s only after giving more text to his father’s wars with Jeroboam (1 Kings 15:6). 

Even though David had been given a heart that loved Yahweh his God (1 Kings 15:3), he still sinned greatly. “The matter of Uriah the Hittite” (1 Kings 15:5) is not a small thing. But the Lord was merciful and gracious to him, bringing him to repentance. Abijam’s kingship was still part of God’s faithful mercy to David (1 Kings 15:4). But his sinfulness was a just consequence and visitation of his mother’s (1 Kings 15:2b, cf. 1 Kings 15:13) and father’s (1 Kings 15:3a) sins. We all deserve to be given over to our forebearer’s sins. But for the sake of David’s greater Son Jesus, He shows saving grace to some. 

This we find in Asa. Asa had Rehoboam and Maachah for grandparents. Asa has Abijam for a father. And yet, somehow, he does “what is right in the eyes of Yahweh, as did his father David” (1 Kings 15:11). He banishes the perverts (1 Kings 15:12) whom Rehoboam had tolerated (cf. 1 Kings 14:24a). And he removes the idols that his ancestors had built (v12b–13). Just as with David, the Lord graciously gave him a new heart toward the Lord (1 Kings 15:14b); but, just as with David, the Lord graciously forgives much imperfection in him. The high places aren’t removed (verse 14a), and although at first he is able to begin rebuilding the glory of the worship of God (1 Kings 15:15), he gives it all away to buy a Syrian invasion of Baasha’s northern kingdom (1 Kings 15:16-21). Even when that succeeds, his priority now is defense (1 Kings 15:22) rather than worship. And the bit about his feet is a hint toward 2 Chronicles 16:12, where he sought man’s cleverness instead of God’s mercy.

How great is the mercy of God to sinners like we are! And yet, how much is left to be desired in the best of us. May God give us more grace.

What do you deserve? Why would God be gracious to you? What does He give us in this saving grace? What are we prone to, even after a new heart? What do we need, in order to restrain this sin?

Sample prayer:  Lord, in our first father Adam, we sinned and died. And we deserved for You to abandon us to our sin. But You graciously give sinners new hearts for the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ, and the love in which You gave Him. We see this grace of Yours in Asa, who deserved to be like Abijam and Rehoboam. But like David and Asa, even with new hearts we are still so prone to sin. Forgive us our sins! And don’t allow us to grow complacent in our repentance and new obedience until You have pressed us into the shape of Christ, in Whom we ask it, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP51B “From My Sins, O Hide Your Face” or TPH180 “Kind and Merciful God, We Have Sinned”


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