Bad Kings

1 Kings 15-16 and Psalm 56

Southern Kingdom

Abijah succeeds Rehoboam. Bad becomes worse! “He committed all the sins his father had done before him” (1 Kings 15:3). The civil war that started with Rehoboam and Jeroboam continued throughout Abijah’s reign.

Asa follows Abijah. “Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord…Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life” (1 Kings 15:11,14). The civil war continues.

Northern Kingdom

Nadab takes over after Jeroboam. “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of his father” (1 Kings 14:26). He only lasted for 2 years. Nadab was killed by Baasha.

Baasha ruled for 24 years. “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of Jeroboam” (1 Kings 15:34).  Baasha killed the entire family of Jeroboam. The civil war continued.

Elah, Baasha’s son, was next…for 2 years. Elah was killed by one of his officials (Zimri).

Zimri took the throne from Elah and killed all of Baasha’s family as predicted by the prophet Jehu. Zimri lasted 7 days! One week.

Omri declared king after Zimri’s suicide. There was division within division, but Omri won out by killing the opposition. He reigned for 12 years. “But Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him” (1 Kings 16:25).

Ahab followed Omri. He was even worse than those before him!

He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. 1 Kings 16:31

Jeroboam set the stage for the Northern Kingdom to go from bad to worse while Asa attempted to correct the Southern Kingdom. Though there is war between the two, there are few details about these battles (more in 2 Chronicles), it seems that the kings are mostly focused inwardly. Solomon’s vast business efforts seem to have bought freedom for some time, but trouble is brewing outside of Israel and Judah. It won’t be long before the Assyrians and Babylonians enter the scene. For now, we see how sin controls the thoughts and actions of our ancestors. Not a pretty sight to say the least.


Thoughts about serving others

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

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