Degeneration

OPENING PRAYER

Jesus, I long to know Your heart and to find the place of rest on Your shoulder.

 

Read: 1 KINGS 16:23-34

[23] In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned twelve years, six of them in Tirzah. [24] He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver and built a city on the hill, calling it Samaria, after Shemer, the name of the former owner of the hill. [25] But Omri did evil in the eyes of the LORD and sinned more than all those before him. [26] He followed completely the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, by their worthless idols. [27] As for the other events of Omri’s reign, what he did and the things he achieved, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? [28] Omri rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. And Ahab his son succeeded him as king. [29] In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel twenty-two years. [30] Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the LORD than any of those before him. [31] 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. [32] He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. [33] 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. [34] In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun. 

 

Reflect: WHAT WAS PASSED FROM OMRI TO AHAB?

Having been with Asa in the south, we now head up to the northern kingdom. On the outside, things look good. Omri’s reign sees the start of a dynasty that would last three generations. He establishes Samaria as his capital (24). This was a strategic move, since Samaria was located on a hill and was well-positioned for trade. Secular historical sources suggest Omri enjoyed a prosperous reign, but the assessment of the writer of 1 Kings is that he “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (25).If Omri did more evil than those before him, Ahab follows in his father’s footsteps (30,33). The writer is clear that he doesn’t just allow the worship of the Canaanite god Baal, but he joins in. With his marriage to the Phoenician Jezebel, and her activities, we reach a stage where the king is actively hostile against God and his true people. All this sets the stage for the stories that follow with Elijah. There we shall see that in the midst of human rule and rivalry between superpowers, God stands firm and his word can be trusted as his people respond to him and serve him with hearts full of faith.

 

APPLY

Journal about the legacy you have received and that which you are passing on.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

God, Your promises are settled in Your very nature. I trust in You.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
www.scriptureunion.org