Wednesday, June 08, 2022

2022.06.08 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Kings 15:25–16:28

Read 1 Kings 15:25–16:28

Questions from the Scripture text: Who became king where, when, for how long (1 Kings 15:25)? What did he do ( 1 Kings 15:26)? Like whom? In what particular sin? Who did what in  1 Kings 15:27? With what result (1 Kings 15:28)? What did Baasha further do (1 Kings 15:29)? According to what? Why (1 Kings 15:30)? What does God not bother to detail (1 Kings 15:31)? What final summary does 1 Kings 15:32 give (cf. 1 Kings 14:301 Kings 15:7)? When did who become king where for how long (1 Kings 15:33)? What did he do (1 Kings 15:34)? What was this great evil? To whom did what come in 1 Kings 16:1? What had Yahweh done for Baasha (1 Kings 16:2)? But has Baasha done now? What will the Lord do (1 Kings 16:3)? Like what? What does this mean exactly (1 Kings 16:4, cf. 1 Kings 14:11)? What does God not bother to detail (1 Kings 16:5)? What happens to Baasha in 1 Kings 16:6? Who reigns in his place? For what two things is he ultimately judged (1 Kings 16:7)? When does who become what for how long (1 Kings 16:8)? Who did what in v9? What was Elah doing at the time? What did Zimri do (1 Kings 16:10)? What did he do (1 Kings 16:11)? According to Whose Word did this happen (1 Kings 16:12)? Why (1 Kings 16:13)? What else doesn’t God bother to detail (1 Kings 16:14)? When did who do what for how short (1 Kings 16:15)? What happened during that time? What do the people hear (1 Kings 16:16)? Whom do they make king? What do he and they do (1 Kings 16:17)? What does Zimri see in 1 Kings 16:18? What does he do? Why did this happen (1 Kings 16:19)? What particular sin? How is his entire reign summarized in 1 Kings 16:20? What happened to the people of Israel at this point (1 Kings 16:21)? Who won (1 Kings 16:22)? When did who become what, for how long, where (1 Kings 16:23)? What did Omri buy and build (1 Kings 16:24)? What did he do (1 Kings 16:25)? How badly? But still in what sin (1 Kings 16:26)? What else didn’t matter enough to be included in detail (1 Kings 16:27)? What happened to Omri in 1 Kings 16:28? Who reigned in his place (verse 28)?

What are we to learn from the instability in this period of the northern kingdom?  1 Kings 15:25–16:28 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 for all of the raging and plotting of politics, men are going to die, and what ultimately matters is what we are before God, since His Word judges us and rules/overrules even all the treacheries/murders of men.

Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, and Ahab govern the northern kingdom over the thirty-six years of verses. And one man governs the southern kingdom. 

It seems like the great contrast is between the chaos of the north and the stability of the south, but that’s not the assessment that the Lord gives us. Rather, the Spirit tells us that Asa did what was right (1 Kings 15:11) by removing the idols of his fathers (1 Kings 15:12) and the obscene image from his mother (1 Kings 15:13). Of the others, He says that Nadab “did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and walked in the way of his father and in his sin by which he made Israel sin” (1 Kings 15:26). And Baasha “did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin” (1 Kings 15:34). Baasha gets an extended (1 Kings 16:2–4) and repeated (1 Kings 16:7) treatment of just how like Jeroboam he was. Then Elah’s entire reign is about getting killed by Zimri to fulfill the prophecy against him for walking in Jeroboam’s sin. 

Zimri reigned for only seven days (1 Kings 16:15), but even in only seven days (!!), he is judged as evil for “walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he had committed to make Israel sin (1 Kings 16:19). The message is pretty clear. For all the wickedness that all of these men committed, the one that is most offensive to God is the fabricated religion of Jeroboam. God required immediate repentance, and Zimri didn’t give it.

Even Omri, who ends up being the first of a great dynasty of evil, is judged primarily for walking “in all the ways of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin by which he made Israel sin, provoking Yahweh God of Israel to anger with their idols” (1 Kings 16:26). Things are going to get worse with his dynasty (1 Kings 15:31), but this again shows God’s hatred for manmade religion. 

It’s not coup conspirators like Baasha (1 Kings 15:27) and Zimri (1 Kings 16:9) that control the rise and fall of nations. It’s the Word of God like that on the lips of Ahijah the Shilonite (1 Kings 15:29) and Jehu son of Hanani (1 Kings 16:11 Kings 16:12). This is going to be the ongoing theme of the Elijah and Elisha sections, but just now it’s a reminder that since the word of the Lord is ultimately in control, all will be judged on whether they did right in the sight of Yahweh—particularly in the area of that God-designed worship by which He gives us to come to Him through Christ. 

From God’s perspective, how will our days be judged in our nation and our churches? What does He expect from you? What comfort or encouragement do you have in the face of how powerful the wicked are?

Sample prayer:  Lord, if You judged Zimri as evil for not having repealed the sin of Jeroboam in his reign of just seven days, then surely You require reformation and purification of worship from us. Forgive us for when we are tolerant of much that is man-made in worship. Forgive us when we go through the motions in the worship that You have commanded, but our hearts are not in it to offer ourselves to You or to rest upon Christ alone as the worthiness of the worship. For His sake, forgive us; and, sanctify us to care about what You care about, AMEN!

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


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