Friday, March 4, 2016

Prophets And Kings, Day 33. Nadab King Of Israel

Prophets And Kings
Day 33
Nadab King Of Israel

We are gonna look at a king of Israel who didnts rule very long: Nadab the son of Jeroboam.

1 KINGS 15:25-32
Jeroboam, the first king over the ten northern tribes of Israel after the kingdom split, dies and his son Nadab succeeds him as king. "Nadab son of Jeroboam became king of Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years." (1 Kings 15:25) 

"He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of his father and committing the same sin his father had caused Israel to commit." (1 Kings 15:26) This changing of the kings reminds me of the saying, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Nadab is just as bad as his father and the same sin he commits is the sin of idolatry. 

But the words of a prophet are about to come true. "Baasha son of Ahijah from the tribe of Issachar plotted against him, and he struck him down at Gibbethon, a Philistine town, while Nadab and all Israel were besieging it." (1 Kings 15:27) I had to do a little research on this to find out whether Baasha's father Ahijah is the same man as the prophet Ahijah. It would seem he is not, because the author is careful to point out that Baasha's father is from Issachar and we were previously told that the prophet Ahijah is from Shiloh. 

During Nadab's reign he must have troubled the Philistines and not Judah. When we studied the reign of Asa there was no mention of any war with Nadab but there was mention of war with Baasha.

"Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of Asa king of Judah and succeeded him as king." (1 Kings 15:28) This man of Issachar stages a coup and his assassination of the king gains him the throne.

Baasha is quick to carry out the words of Ahijah the Shilonite that he spoke when the Lord rebuked Jeroboam for his idolatry, "Because of this, I am going to bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every last male in Israel---slave or free. I will burn up the house of Jeroboam as one burns dung, until it is all gone. Dogs will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city, and birds will feed on those who die in the country. The Lord has spoken!" (1 Kings 14:10-11) Jeroboam didn't take these words to heart and repent, nor did he remove the idols from Israel, nor did he train up his son Nadab in the right way. I think the Lord would have been merciful and relented if Jeroboam had turned from his sins, or else why give him warning ahead of time? Since the Lord is omniscient, He knew the future and He knew Jeroboam wouldn't repent, but Jeroboam will never be able to say he wasn't given a chance.

"As soon as he began to reign, he killed Jeroboam's whole family. He did not leave Jeroboam anyone that breathed, but destroyed them all, according to the word of the Lord given through His servant Ahijah the Shilonite. This happened because of the sins Jeroboam had committed and had caused Israel to commit, and because he aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel." (1 Kings 15:29-30) One of the things I fear most is somehow influencing others to go astray. It's bad enough if I sin, but even worse if my sin causes others to fall into the same trap. It's a worrisome responsibility when we think about it, that our actions are followed by fellow Christians and by unbelievers, and that when we sin it might cause others to think it's okay. None of us will be perfect in our Christian walk, but we can never minimize the importance of this instruction from the Apostle Paul, "Abstain from all appearance of evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:22) The world is watching us. Unbelievers watch us to see how we react to temptation and trouble, to see whether our faith is real, to see whether our God is real. Our fellow Christians watch us in order to find examples of how to walk in the faith even when times are hard and they watch us for encouragement so their own faith can be strengthened. 

My husband and I had what was sort of a long distance romance while we dated for two years before getting married. We lived about sixty miles apart and when coming to see him I'd stay with my sister who lived just a few miles from him. One weekend my sister and her family were going out of town but I was still welcome to stay at her house. My future husband lived alone and he said I was welcome to come stay at his house and sleep in his extra bedroom. At first I thought it might be okay to do that because I felt secure in the knowledge I wouldn't be doing anything sinful if I stayed with him. We were not sleeping together while we dated. For a few days I went back and forth on the idea until I came across the verse by the Apostle Paul quoted above, "Abstain from all appearance of evil." And that's when I realized people in the neighborhood would see my car in my his driveway overnight and they would assume we were living in sin even though we weren't. I would be giving an appearance of evil. The word of the Lord spoke so clearly to me that late summer afternoon that I was compelled to refrain from staying at my future husband's house. I don't want to give the impression that I've always obeyed the Lord. I don't want anyone to think I'm saying, "Hey, I always do what the Lord says! I obey His every word. I never mess up." That would be a long long way from the truth. There have been many times I knew what was right and chose not to do it. Many times everything in my spirit was telling me to run away from something as fast as I could but my carnal mind persuaded me to stick around. But I wanted to give this example of how our actions influence others and can even cause them to disrespect the Lord and say, "Well, even the Christians do this, so it must be okay." Jeroboam, as king of Israel, had an awesome amount of heavy responsibility on his shoulders to lead the people in the right way. It was of the utmost importance that he abstain from every appearance of evil but instead he went full-out for idolatry and caused the majority of the nation to sin. They said, "If it's okay for the king to do it, it's okay for us." This is why the Lord judged Jeroboam and his entire idolatrous family so harshly that they had to be taken from the earth.

"As for the other events of Nadab's reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns." (1 Kings 15:31-32) Tomorrow we will move on to study Baasha and we will learn he was just as wicked as Jeroboam and Nadab before him. The Lord used him to carry out the prophecy against the house of Jeroboam but this doesn't mean Baasha was a good guy. He was simply an instrument in the Lord's hand, just as later on idolatrous King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon will be an instrument in the Lord's hand to discipline Israel. The pagan nation of ancient Rome will also be an instrument of discipline in the Lord's hand. 

Sometimes I wonder if some of our own presidents haven't been instruments in the Lord's hand to discipline the United States. Our nation in general is falling so far from the word of God that I fear Him raising up a ruler who will make us dreadfully sorry for not fighting harder to keep the Lord at the center of everything we do. Now more than ever we need to go to our knees in prayer for our nation. It's not too late to turn back. 

Below is a link to a song I think goes along well with today's passage. The message in it is very relevant to our world today.

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