Saturday, March 5, 2016

Prophets And Kings, Day 34. Baasha King Of Israel

Prophets And Kings
Day 34
Baasha King Of Israel

Jeroboams son Nadab weres assassinated by a man named Baasha and now him is the king of Israel, but hims a bad king, as bad as Nadab and Jeroboam before him.

1 KINGS 15:33-34
1 KINGS 16:1-7
"In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king of all Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit." (1 Kings 15:33-34) We learn here that Baasha is an idolater. When he took over the throne, he didn't do it in order to make things better in Israel, at least not in a religious sense. He may have thought he'd be a better political leader than Nadab but he does nothing about the state-sponsored idolatry. 

We will notice over and over again in our study of 1st and 2nd Kings that God always has those who remain faithful to Him. No matter how bad conditions in the nation get, there are always those who still stand for God. "Then the word of the Lord came to Jehu son of Hanani concerning Baasha:" (1 Kings 16:1) The whole population hasn't fallen into idolatry. There are some still able to hear the voice of God.

This is what the Lord says through the prophet, "I lifted you up from the dust and appointed you ruler over My people Israel, but you followed the ways of Jeroboam and caused My people Israel to sin and to arouse My anger by their sins." (1 Kings 16:2) Baasha was a nobody til he came to the throne. He was not of royal lineage. He was from the tribe of Issachar, not the kingly line of Judah. We had never even heard of him until he assassinated the king, just as we had never heard of Lee Harvey Oswald until he assassinated President Kennedy. This one thing is the only thing that made Baasha famous and he has squandered his great opportunity to do wonderful things for Israel. He could have been God's man, leading the nation back to the Lord, but it seems all he wanted was to be king, not to overturn the pagan religious system. 

As we studied yesterday, Baasha was an instrument in the Lord's hand to take down the idolatrous house of Jeroboam, but this doesn't mean Baasha is a good man. The Lord isn't condoning the murder of Nadab but He didn't prevent it either. The Lord allowed Baasha to strike down the king and the Lord allowed Baasha to sit on the throne, but Baasha is a man who will not bow to his Maker. His descendants will meet the same fate as those of Jeroboam. "So I am about to wipe out Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat. Dogs will eat those belonging to Baasha who die in the city, and birds will feed on those who die in the country." (1 Kings 16:3-4) The culture placed great importance on tomb burial so this prophecy is like a curse. The descendants of Baasha's family won't receive proper burials but will be left out in the open, unprotected from animal activity. This will be a disgrace visited upon the house of Baasha because of the disgrace he has brought upon Israel.

"As for the other events of Baasha's reign, what he did and his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? Baasha rested with his ancestors and was buried in Tirzah. And Elah his son succeeded him as king." (1 Kings 16:5-6) Baasha, like Jeroboam, died while in office and was buried. But King Elah will be assassinated by one of his own officials and that man will wipe out the house of Baasha in our study tomorrow, fulfilling the words of the prophet Jehu. 

"Moreover, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Jehu son of Hanani to Baasha and his house, because of all the evil he had done in the eyes of the Lord, arousing His anger by the things he did, becoming like the house of Jeroboam---and also because he destroyed it." (1 Kings 16:7) Because he never turned to the Lord and repented, the fate of Baasha's house is sealed. He sinned in assassinating the king. God allowed it but God didn't cause it. God allowed one wicked man to bring punishment upon another wicked man, but Baasha committed murder by his own free will out of his own evil heart. God could have placed Baasha on the throne without Baasha murdering Nadab, just as God placed David on the throne without David murdering Saul. If it were God's will for Baasha to be king, all he had to do was trust God and wait, but I don't think he was a trusting and waiting kind of man. He's about to reap what he has sown. Baasha's house is going to fall in the same way he caused the house of Jeroboam to fall. The same measure Baasha poured out on the house of Jeroboam will be poured out on him. This is not simply justice, it's poetic justice.

Justice is not always swift but it's always certain. God will have the last word. There are things people have done on this earth that they seem to have gotten away with. And maybe they won't meet their judgment here. But there's a higher court they will stand in someday and there's a higher Judge they will have to face. I see things in the news sometimes that make me pray for God's swift justice, such as awful instances of child abuse and animal abuse, stories of murdered or missing children. Sometimes our courts can't prove who did what and nobody is ever brought to trial. Sometimes no penalties are handed out. But our righteous and holy Judge sees and knows all things and we can be certain any penalty He hands out will match the severity of the crime. Jeroboam's penalty didn't fall as soon as the prophet Ahijah foretold it. Baasha's penalty didn't fall as soon as the prophet Jehu foretold it. But both their fates were certain because they were determined by a righteous Judge. I don't know how and I don't know when, but our God is going to make everything right someday. He's going to heal the wounds of the innocent and He's going to judge the deeds of the wicked. The Creator is going to put all creation back in order and somehow, some way, all things will be made right.

Below is our song link for today and there's a line in this song that I think goes perfectly with our hope in heavenly justice and heavenly help, "Earth has no sorrow that heaven can't heal."

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