Monday, July 3: 1Kings 16- From very bad to much, much worse.

The chapter begins with a word from the Lord. Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu son of Hanani concerning Baasha: “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. So I am about to wipe out Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat (1-3).

Ok, it is a word of judgment, but the Lord is still speaking with Israel and maybe I am overly positive in my assessment but it seems if I read behind the lines.  The Lord speaks, there was a glimmer of hope for Israel if Baasha chose to follow the ways of the Lord rather than the ways of Jeroboam. However, the glimmer is moot since Baasha followed Jeroboam.

This is the only word from the Lord in the chapter, from this point forward things spiral out of control with murders and assassinations. Israel is a real mess careening further and further from the Lord. The result in this one chapter is Ahab of which it says, Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of 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. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him (30-33).

It is as if the Lord withdraws His hand and the kings of Israel left to themselves grow worse and worse.

This causes me to wonder how elite thinkers of the world today can still believe that humanity left to itself will ‘grow better and better, kinder and kinder’? With all our sophistication and advancements the 20th century was the bloodiest and most murderous in recorded human history. And the 21st century with all the terrorism and regional skirmishes is not looking any better!

Left to ourselves the world, like Israel, is in trouble.

The only answer is renewed hearts through faith in Jesus!

The history of Christ followers is certainly not perfect.  There have been times when we Christians have gone off the rails and acted little if no better than non-Christ-followers but there is no other solution to the human sin problem than Jesus.

Let’s pray for an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord, squelching our blood lusts and bringing peace and hope where there is little today…

Come, Lord God, come. Pout out Your Spirit, draw all people to You. Come, Lord Jesus, restore Your kingdom here on earth as it is in Heaven. I pray in Your name, Jesus. Amen.


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