Let Us Pray that the Spirit of Jezebel Will Never Come Near Us

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“He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nabat, but he also married Jezebel… (1 Kings 16:29-34, NIV)

After the death of Omri, his son Ahab became king of Israel. It says that out of all the kings of Israel, he was the worst who, not only followed the idolatrous ways of Jeroboam, but he married Jezebel who was a passionate hater of Yahweh and zealous worshiper of Baal and Asherah.

As a believer, how can you even think about dating or marrying someone who hates God? But this is exactly what Ahab king of Israel did. It says that Ahab succeeded his father Omri as the new king of Israel, and that he was the wickedest king of out all the kings in Israel. In addition, “He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nabat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him.” In other words, it was bad enough that he did not love God, but he went out and married a woman who hated God. Jezebel in the Bible is a famous woman known for her evil ways, sexual immorality, and addiction to witchcraft and whoredom. She was vicious, manipulative, cold-blooded, malicious in her natural temper, and extremely imperious and domineering in her ways. She may have been outwardly beautiful, but inwardly she was a poisonous snake. She is known for zealously worshipping and promoting Baal and Asherah, the fertility gods in those days, whose worship rituals included sexual orgies, sacrificing of children, and other immoral acts. Since Ahab is criticized for marrying such a woman, it seems he married her out of preference and not out of force. Whatever his reason was for marrying her, he gave her the most important place in his heart and home. The role of a wife is very important in a marriage for she can make or break the man. Also the role of a wife eventually becomes the role of a mother who will feed, nurture, and guide the next generation. Also since Ahab was a leader, her role was even more important, because as a queen, she was the first lady of the nation—a spiritual mother to the people. Imagine that, for 22 years, he empowered her to feed and nurture the nation of Israel with her idolatry, immorality, and wickedness. During her reign in Israel, she tried to wipe out the worship of Yahweh by killing of the prophets of God (1 Ki.18:4). What a sad and dark time for the people of God. Let’s pray that the spirit of Jezebel will never come near us.

THIS WEEK:

  • Monday                         1 Kings 16:8-14
  • Tuesday                        1 Kings 16:15-20
  • Wednesday                   1 Kings 16:21-28
  • Thursday                       1 Kings 16:29-34
  • Friday                           1 Kings 17:1-7
  • Saturday                       1 Kings 17:8-16

When You Do not Keep Sin and Temptation in Check…

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“But Omri did evil in the eyes of the LORD and sinned more than all those before him.” (1 Kings 16:21-28, NIV)

After the death of Zimri, the nation of Israel is divided between those who followed Omri and those who followed Tibni. Omri’s crowd ultimately wins the battle and crowns him as their king, but he goes down in history as one who did more evil than all those before him.

Oh how I wish I could return to those innocent days. Those days when I would blush at the slightest sight of female flesh, struggled with guilt over disobedience to my parents, or experiencing a brawl in my mind as I struggled between telling the truth and covering up my sins. I weep inside now at how callous my heart has become. It wasn’t always like this. It’s because I have allowed my sin and temptations to go unchecked for so long. Of course, we justify ourselves and say it’s because we are adults now, but the fact of the matter is our hearts have become immune to guilt. It says in today’s passage, “But Omri did evil in the eyes of the LORD and sinned more than all those before him.” It seems that this was the trend for all of the kings of Israel. Each successive kings tried to outdo the kings before them in sinning and provoking God to anger. The wickedness of one generation became the norm for the next generation, and they kept adding more wicked deeds for the generation after them. Read the description of each kings of Israel. It says Jeroboam acted wickedly more than all those before him. Then Baasha came along and sinned more than all those before him. Then Zimri came along and acted more wickedly than all those before him. Then came Omri who acted more evil than all those before him. Then Ahab who acted more wickedly than all those before him. Where does it stop? Remember the first time you sinned? Then it became easier and easier the next time around. Notice how each decade in America become more open to sin, violence, and immorality. Remember how TV had censorship toward nudity, swearing, and violence? Notice how sex and violence on TV are norm today. This is why we do not blush at sin anymore. When you do not keep them in check, it will continue to grow out of control.

THIS WEEK:

  • Monday                         1 Kings 16:8-14
  • Tuesday                        1 Kings 16:15-20
  • Wednesday                   1 Kings 16:21-28
  • Thursday                       1 Kings 16:29-34
  • Friday                           1 Kings 17:1-7
  • Saturday                       1 Kings 17:8-16

It’s Never Too Late to Seek after God

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“When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the royal palace and set the palace on fire around him. So he died.” (1 Kings 16:15-20, NIV)

Zimri kills the king before him and becomes a king in his place. However, the people choose Omri the popular army general as their king instead of Zimri, and when they had entered the city, Zimri sets the palace on fire and kills himself instead of surrendering to them.

Is it really better to end your life than surrendering your life to God? The name Zimri became a symbol for a traitor who murdered his master. Many years after the death of Zimri, there is a story that tells us how people remembered him. When both the king of Israel and the king of Judah acted wickedly before God, He sent Jehu to judge them for their sins. Jehu kills Jehoram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah and enters the city to confront the notorious Queen Jezebel. It says that she greeted him with the words, “Is it well, Zimri, your master’s murderer?” (2 Kings 9:31) This was how people remembered Zimri throughout Israel’s history—a traitor who killed his master and reigned for 7 glorious days and killed himself. What a sad way to be remembered by people. Zimri murdered the king before him and took his place as the new king. But the people had another idea and they chose Omri the popular army general as their king. Then they surrounded the palace and attempted to kill Zimri as he had done with his previous king. It says, “When Zirmri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the royal palace and set the palace on fire around him. So he died.” It was like saying, “If I can’t have this palace, no one will have it.” However, Zimri could have chosen another path. He could have repented and made peace with God. Maybe God would have saved him or maybe he would have died anyway. Either way, he would have gone down in history as a wicked man who killed his master, but made right with God before his death. We can even say the same thing for Judas Iscariot who hanged himself instead of repenting. It’s always better to finish well than not finish at all. Even if you lived your life in sin, hurt others, greedy, selfish, and self-centered, the fact that you repented in the end can make a huge difference. It’s never too late to seek after God.

THIS WEEK:

  • Monday                         1 Kings 16:8-14
  • Tuesday                        1 Kings 16:15-20
  • Wednesday                   1 Kings 16:21-28
  • Thursday                       1 Kings 16:29-34
  • Friday                           1 Kings 17:1-7
  • Saturday                       1 Kings 17:8-16

Life Is Short

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“In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel… killed him in twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah.” (1 Kings 16:8-14, NIV)

Elah son of Baasha reigned as king of Israel for two short years as he was murdered by one of his officials. Zimri who was a commander of his chariots killed him and all his friends and family members as it was foretold by the prophet Jehu.

Life is short. Your glory in life even shorter. In today’s passage, we see a man who became a king in Israel only to be removed in two short years. It says, “In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel… Zimri, one of his officials… came in, struck him down and killed him in twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah.” Do the math. Elah became a king in 26th year of Asa and died in 27th year of Asa. Now I’m pretty sure that Elah did not plan on reigning for only 1-2 years. He probably planned on doing it for a long time. He may even had plans for projects, ventures, people to see, places to go, things to do. Yet, while he was enjoying himself with friends and family getting drunk in Tirzah, one of his trusted subject ended his life. It amazes me how people still plan their lives as if they are going to live for a long, long time. The Bible says, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (Ja.4:13-14). Also, remember the parable of Jesus about a man who made plans to build bigger and better barns to store his wealth, but did not know he was going to die that night (Lk.12:13-21). The psalmist reminds us, “As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and is place remembers it no more” (Ps.103:15-16). All these words are simply a reminder that our life on earth is short and our 15 minutes of fame even shorter. Don’t make the same mistake as Elah who made plans for this life but did not make plans for his eternal life. Life on earth is short, but life after death is forever. Make sure all your treasures, pleasures, and measures are invested in the right place.

THIS WEEK:

  • Monday                         1 Kings 16:8-14
  • Tuesday                        1 Kings 16:15-20
  • Wednesday                   1 Kings 16:21-28
  • Thursday                       1 Kings 16:29-34
  • Friday                           1 Kings 17:1-7
  • Saturday                       1 Kings 17:8-16

Would You Preach the Word of God at the Risk of Your Life?

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“Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu son of Hanani against Baasha…” (1 Kings 16:1-7, NIV)

God sends His word of judgment to King Baasha and his house through a prophet named Jehu. He obediently prophesied against Baasha that his house will be consumed and destroyed like the house of Jeroboam before him for provoking God to anger with their sins.

Would you preach the Word of God at the risk of your life? Being a preacher in the United States is not too bad, in fact if you preach well, you might even be respected, treated well, or rewarded. This is not the case in some other parts of the world where preaching the gospel is restricted, monitored, or forbidden. Some places like North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, you will be beaten, imprisoned, or even put to death for standing up for Christ. In today’s passage, we see a preacher who was called to preach the word of God at the risk of his life. Let’s take a look at the background of his preaching ministry for a minute. It was a dark time in Israel. Politically, there was much bloodshed as king’s servants rose up against their king to take power and killing the whole family. Spiritually, it was all time low as the nation fell into idolatry of Baal and Asherah. Economically, the nation was still pretty well off because of the prosperity of Solomon’s days, but they were losing fund and its fame quickly fading away. There was a constant war between northern and southern kingdoms of Israel and threats from various foreign powers surrounding them. It was not popular time to be a preacher in those days. Yet, it says, “Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu son of Hanani against Baasha” to preach against his house for their wickedness. Remember, Baasha had literally massacred the entire family of Jeroboam to gain power in Israel, what would stop him from killing one little prophet? What would you do if God called you to preach against a man like Baasha? What would you do if God called you to go and preach in North Korea, Somalia, or Syria? It was not easy for Jehu to preach against Baasha, but he did it anyway because he wanted to obey God. We may not be called to preach in those places, but we can pray for those who are called to preach there. Let’s make it our priority to lift up brothers and sisters in Christ who are called to stand up for Christ in the face of persecution.

THIS WEEK:

  • Monday                         1 Kings 14:21-31
  • Tuesday                        1 Kings 15:1-8
  • Wednesday                   1 Kings 15:9-15
  • Thursday                       1 Kings 15:16-24
  • Friday                           1 Kings 15:25-34
  • Saturday                       1 Kings 16:1-7

If You Want a Fresh Start in Life, Start with a Fresh Heart

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“Baasha son of Ahijah became king of all Israel… He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, walking in the ways of Jeroboam and his sin…” (1 Kings 15:25-34, NIV)

While Asa was bringing reformation in Judah, Baasha massacred the royal family of Jeroboam and took their place as the ruler of Israel. Even though he had a fresh start as a new king, he followed the wicked ways of Jeroboam his predecessor.

What good is a fresh start if you are going to do the same old things? Having a new beginning or a second chance will mean something only if you are willing to change your sinful ways. While reformation was taking place in Judah through the leadership of King Asa, a man by the name of Baasha conspired and massacred the whole family of Jeroboam. The Bible says all this took place according to the word of the Lord spoken through the prophet Ahijah. Further, according to the reading of 1 Kings 16:1-2, it appears that God had strengthened Baasha to cleanse the house of Israel from the sins of Jeroboam. However, although Baasha inherited the kingdom of Israel and had a fresh start, he chose to cling to the sins of Jeroboam which became the cause of his downfall as well. It says, “Baasha son of Ahijah became king of all Israel… He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, walking in the ways of Jeroboam and his sin…” You can have a fresh start in your life, but if you do not change the old you, you will end up with the same result. New beginning, new home, new family, new job, new ministry will mean something only if you are willing to change the old you. Someone has said, “You can give pig a bath and make him clean, but soon or later he will return to his unclean ways.” In other words, you can put the pig in a new environment, but his nature will turn that environment into a pigsty. We are sinners by nature and unless we are willing to change our sin nature, we will return to sinful ways no matter how many times we try to start afresh. Jesus said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him” (Mt.12:34-35). If you want a fresh start in life, start with a fresh heart.

THIS WEEK:

  • Monday                         1 Kings 14:21-31
  • Tuesday                        1 Kings 15:1-8
  • Wednesday                   1 Kings 15:9-15
  • Thursday                       1 Kings 15:16-24
  • Friday                           1 Kings 15:25-34
  • Saturday                       1 Kings 16:1-7

Who Will You Entrust When You Are Backed into a Corner?

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“He entrusted it to his officials and sent them to Ben-Hadad… king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus.” (1 Kings 15:16-24, NIV)

King Asa’s heart was wholly devoted to God all the days of his life, but he also struggled fully trusting in Him. When pressure arose from Baasha king of Israel and his feet became diseased, he sought deliverance from worldly means rather than trusting in God.

Who will you entrust when you are backed into a corner? What will you rely on when you come under pressure? It’s sad but true that sometimes even though you trust God with your heart, it does not translate into your actions. The Bible says that King Asa was a man who was “wholly devoted to the LORD all his days” (1 Ki.15:14), but he also had trouble trusting in Him during tough circumstances. In today’s passage, we find King Asa facing two major problems in his life that led him to choose between trusting God and trusting something else. First, he was faced with mounting military opposition from Baasha king of Israel whom he was at war with all the days of his life. However, instead of trusting God for deliverance, he decided to trust Ben-Hadad king of Aram for deliverance. It says, “He entrusted it (money) to his officials and sent them to Ben-Hadad… king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus.” By offering money, Asa asked Ben-Hadad if he could help him and be an enemy to Baasha. It does not say anything in 1 Kings, but according to the parallel account in 2 Chronicles 16:7-9, God was not happy with his decision. Second, he was faced with sickness during the latter part of his life where he was severely diseased in his feet. It says, however, that “even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians” (2 Chron.16:12). Apparently, Asa’s sickness was coming from God and it could have been healed if he had just trusted God. Now, I don’t know why Asa refused to trust God and continued to rely on physicians, but it shows that there must have been a thorn in his relationship with God. Being devoted to God from heart is just the beginning. You must demonstrate it when it really counts as you are faced with pressure, backed into a corner, or even bitter toward God. Asa entrusted in things other than God when it counted the most. Who will you entrust when it really matters?

THIS WEEK:

  • Monday                         1 Kings 14:21-31
  • Tuesday                        1 Kings 15:1-8
  • Wednesday                   1 Kings 15:9-15
  • Thursday                       1 Kings 15:16-24
  • Friday                           1 Kings 15:25-34
  • Saturday                       1 Kings 16:1-7

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