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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

1 Kings 16

Verses 1-34

  1. Intro:
    1. As we study these 7 kings...let’s remember, We can’t always control the exterior waves of life, but we can’t control what’s inside us.
      1. I like 1 Cor.16:13, Paul’s final exhortation to the Corinthians, Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done w/love.
    2. 5 Imperatives:
    3. Sounds like military orders from a Commander to his Subordinates. [Watch, Stand Fast, Be Brave, Be Strong, & Love]
      1. Watch – Be ever on alert. Keep staying awake.
        1. Be on alert for our enemy. Be on alert for sin.
      2. Stand Fast in the faith – When under attack stand fast in the faith & yield not an inch. [See that your belief is sound, also see that your belief is applied in yur life]
        1. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for everything.
        2. Eph.6:13,14a Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore,…
      3. Be Brave – (lit. act like men, grow up) In time of battle, play a hero’s part.
        1. No wimps – David often spoke of his mighty men, even those made from his band that were in distress, in debt, & discontented.
        2. David never spoke of them as his mighty losers.
      4. Be Strong - Be strong to fight for your King. [Be strong comes up 33 times in scripture]
        1. He’s not looking for the Brave Heart way, but the tough inner man. One who can handle criticism & temptation.
        2. Paul prayed for the Ephesian Christians, For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.
        3. There is no short cut to Holy living.
      5. Love - Love always brings us back in that perfect balance…Lest we become Zealots, or repeat the Crusades.
      6. This command adds depth to all the others.
        1. W/o Love you won’t be Watching w/alertness, you’ll be Examining w/suspicion
        2. Without Love you won’t be Standing Fast, you’ll be Running Fast.
        3. Without Love you won’t be Brave, you’ll be a coward.
        4. Without Love you won’t be Strong, you’ll be Weak w/tenderness.
      7. Which of those 5 did you need to be reminded of this evening?
  2. 2 JUDAH KINGS (1-24) Abijam & Asa
    1. Slide5 ABIJAM (1-8)
    2. God allowed Abijam to succeed and build up the kingdom because of the merit of David.
      1. And look how long after David’s sun had set did the light of his life still glimmer over his house.
      2. But this isn’t fair! Abijam walked in the sins of his fathers. And his heart was not loyal to God.
      3. So God blessed Judah (& its king) just for David’s sake...oh wait, just as He blesses us for the sake of His beloved Son.
        1. Eph.1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
    3. (5b) Except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite - and what a costly exception that was.
      1. What a pathetic sigh of regret in just the mention of Uriah’s name :(
        1. One moment of indulged passion can cast a shadow over long years.
        2. Let’s remember, God forgives sin, yet it grieves Him to the heart.
          1. ​​​​​​​But even a person who sinned greatly can be restored and become a blessing to others.
    4. (6) This was a prolonged struggle fought along the border of north & south in the territory of Benjamin.
      1. Whoever owned this had the best access into the hill country of Israel & Judah from both the West (from the Med Sea) & the East (to the Jordan Valley). [Jerusalem the capitol of Judah & Bethel important southern religious site of Northern Israel]
      2. If you controlled these routes you could restrict the economic & political expansion of the other.
    5. ASA (9-24)
    6. Asa is the 1st of the 8 good kings in Judah. And not only good but long.
      1. Note: Asa’s reign saw 6 or 7 different monarchs in the northern kingdom.
      2. Unlike his father & grandfather, Asa made a conscious effort to follow God’s ways. A bad father may have a good son.
        1. Let no one feel that a noble life is impossible because of the difficulties of his birth or home surroundings.
        2. Slide7b Start a Legacy! [Steve Farrar, Men’s Retreat. His Father. Not your story? Start 1]
          1. Slide7c Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others & the stories they share about you. Shannon L. Alder
        3. He had a wonderful beginning to his reign (1 of the 1st of 8 kings to attempt to reform the religious practices of his people), but a disappointing ending.
    7. He was courageous enough to cleanse the Temple of religious prostitutes and purge the land of idols. He 1st struck at immorality & then idolatry. Slide7e He even dethroned his own grandmother.
      1. But instead of trusting the Lord for victory he robbed the temple and bribed a pagan king to assist him in a war.
      2. By forging an alliance w/Ben-hadad, King of Syria (who was Israel’s neighbor to the north) this forced Israel to flight on 2 fronts at opposite ends of their kingdom.
        1. In 2 Chronicles 16:7-10, Asa was criticized by the prophet Hanai for relying on Syria, rather than on God.
  3. 5 ISRAEL KINGS (15:25-16) Nadab & Baasha & Elah & Zimri & Omri
    1. ​​​​​​​NADAB & BAASHA (15:25-16:7)
    2. (15:27) Assassination.
    3. Baasha was a soldier, strong, active, daring. He waded to his throne through blood. (27,29)
    4. God promised the house of Jeroboam would be destroyed, and Baasha was the instrument of that judgment.
      1. But Baasha repeated the sins of Jeroboam. Did he think that he would escape punishment?
        1. Friedrich von Logau “Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small.”
    5. (16:4) The prophets formulaic pronouncement reflects the curse of Deuteronomy.
      1. To not be buried in the family grave in the land of one’s inheritance was the ultimate curse for an ancient Israelite.
      2. Since Baasha had imitated Jeroboam’s sins, so he would suffer Jeroboam’s judgment. God used Zimri to fulfill His word against Baasha.
    6. (16:7) Whenever the Kings or priests led the people into sin, God sent faithful prophets to warn them them and call them back to the true worship of Jehovah.
      1. Jehu was such a prophet (we know little of him). He continued as a prophet for 30 yrs. And shone as a star amid the darkness of the times.
        1. No age has been without its prophets. No life, however abandoned, w/o some protesting voice. No soul, goes over the waterfall without a warning cry.
        2. This reveals a merciful, pitying love of the father, not willing that any should perish.
      2. Jehu was not afraid to give God’s message of judgment to evil king Baasha.
      3. Are we today willing to take our stand against evil, or do we just drift with the crowd?
    7. Heb.4:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 nautical terms here:
    8. Give the more earnest (w/extreme care) heed (bringing a ship to land). (Linguistic Key to the Greek NT, Heb.2:1, pg.666)
      1. Ps.107:30 He brought them safely into harbor. msg
    9. Drift away = it was used for: something slipping from one’s memory; or of a ring slipping from one’s finger; or of a ship drifting away.
    10. Lest we drift away – 6 Things we should know about drifting:
      1. Drifting requires no effort
        1. People seldom lose their religion by a blowout …it is usually a slow leak.
      2. It’s an unconscious effort (you might not even know you are drifting/eg. surfing)
        1. Drifting is not intentional. It usually comes from inattention & carelessness.
          1. It happens quietly, no friction, no dramatic sense of departure.
          2. Winds of trouble blow into your life, the things of Christ are left behindthen pretty soon…they are out of sight.
      3. We never drift upstream or against the tide
      4. The speed downstream increases (when you hear the noise of the’s too late)
      5. It is dangerous to others (it’s a hazard to all other vessels at sea)
      6. It ends in shipwreck (it will crash on the rocks, or go over the falls)
    11. How are your moorings in Christ? (cables/ropes, or frayed strings/tiny threads)
      1. Some people who never consider walking in darkness sure enjoy a little stroll in the shade.
      2. Samson was asleep when he lost his strength.
      3. Still water and still religion freeze the quickest.
      4. It’s also scary to realize that most of the people who failed in Scriptures failed in the 2nd-half of their lives.
      5. How many people have you met that left Christianity because they logically reasoned it through & found it full of holes & faulty. Most simply drifted away.
    12. So what causes causes drifting? Not giving careful attention to the Word of God.
      1. Robertson McQuilkin in his book Let Me Get Home Before Dark prays for himself, I fear the Dark Specter may come too soon – or do I mean, too late? That I should end before I finish or finish, but not well. That I should stain your honor, shame your name, grieve your loving heart. Few, they tell me, finish well…Lord, let me get home before dark.
      2. Have you drifted away from your early faith? Or from your fidelity to God? From consistent reading? From serious & passionate prayer times? From regular Church attendance? Giving? Fellowship? Communion? Witnessing?
    13. Slide15 ELAH (8-14)
    14. We learn more about his death in his life. His extermination was so complete not 1 family member was left (11,12).
    15. Slide16 ZIMRI (15-20)
    16. Zimri trod in his master’s footsteps, & was unwarned by his master’s end.
    17. Zimri’s reign was brief, only 7 days.
      1. In his brief reign of 7 days Zimri had found time to walk in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin. I guess 7 days are long enough to test a man.
        1. Think about it, in that 1 week he made manifest so great of a stubbornness and sin as to make longer probation needless, and all thought of reformation hopeless.
      2. Rather than fall into the hands of Omri & his following, Zimri committed suicide.
    18. Slide17 OMRI (21-28)
    19. For the 1st four years of his reign his throne was shared by Tibni.
      1. He built Samaria as the metropolis of his kingdom.
    20. Omri is one of few individuals from the Bible whose name has been preserved in another source.
      1. An inscription on the Mesha Stele (a pillar or obelisk that dates to about 830 bc) mentions the Israelite kings Omri and Ahab by name (see note on 2Kng3:1-27). The archaeological site associated with Samaria, Omri’s capital, attests to the grandeur and prosperity of the Omride dynasty.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 1 Kings 16". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.