Divine threatenings are not bugbears, for no work of God shall fall to the ground.
The harboring of evil MUST eventuate in open defeat and ruin.
I Kings 1
1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah.
2 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.
3 And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father.
4 Nevertheless for David’s sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem:
5 Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
6 And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.
7 Now the rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.
8 And Abijam slept with his fathers; and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead.
9 ¶ And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah.
10 And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.
11 And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father.
12 And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.
13 And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron.
14 But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect with the LORD all his days.
15 And he brought in the things which his father had dedicated, and the things which himself had dedicated, into the house of the LORD, silver, and gold, and vessels.
16 ¶ And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
17 And Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Ben-hadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,
19 There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver and gold; come and break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.
20 So Ben-hadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of the hosts which he had against the cities of Israel, and smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abel-beth-maachah, and all Cinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali.
21 And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building of Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah.
22 Then king Asa made a proclamation throughout all Judah; none was exempted: and they took away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha had builded; and king Asa built with them Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah.
23 The rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Nevertheless in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet.
24 And Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead.
25 ¶ And Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over Israel two years.
26 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.
27 ¶ And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon.
28 Even in the third year of Asa king of Judah did Baasha slay him, and reigned in his stead.
29 And it came to pass, when he reigned, that he smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite:
30 Because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, by his provocation wherewith he provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger.
31 ¶ Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
32 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, twenty and four years.
34 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.
I Kings – J. Vernon McGee
1 Kings 15:1-15 – A Better Day Dawns
Again we meet with those references to David that we found in the previous chapter. See I Kings 15:3-5, 11. His name lingers as sweet fragrance in the air, or as the after-glow of sundown. But Abijam’s mother was descended from Absalom, and it is hardly surprising that the unhappy ancestry conflicted with the other and holier influence. Though the lamp burned low, however, it was not entirely extinguished. What a pathetic touch that is in I Kings 15:5! One moment of passion may be a long regret to God and to the soul! Yet there is forgiveness with God, that He may be feared, Psalm 130:4.
For Asa’s reign, we must turn to the book of Chronicles, where further evidence is given of his truly religious character—at least during the earlier portion of his rule. Even his grandmother was removed from her position. Compare I Kings 15:2, 10; the words father and mother are used loosely, as may be seen in I Kings 15:3. On the whole, Asa’s policy was directed to the overthrow of the heathen worship, but he seems to have shrunk from a root-and-branch extermination of the evil, I Kings 15:14; and the result was personal deterioration and the springing up again of idolatry. Our Lord asks us never to compromise. The right hand that offends must be cut off. The brood of the viper must be stamped out to the last egg.
1 Kings 15:11—Asa did… right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father.
It is a great thing to have such a testimony as this. We may do right in our own eyes; yet the eye of the Lord may detect evil which neither our associates nor we have seen. We may deceive ourselves, we may deceive others; but we cannot deceive God. In the home or business, in situation or factory, let us live as under the searching gaze of God.
Asa’s life was one of religious activity: he destroyed the idols of his father, and even deposed his queen-mother, “because she had made an idol in a grove” (1 Kings 15:13). It needs Divine courage so to live for God that at home or afield men shall take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus. This is what the world is languishing for–reality, consistency under all circumstances, and before all men.
There are, however, two clouds overhanging this otherwise bright life. “The high places were not removed” (I Kings 15:14). Though idols were destroyed, the groves in which they were erected remained. They were no scare to him; and he took care that during his life they should not ensnare others; but after his death, in the reign of Jehoshaphat his son, “the people offered and burnt incense” in them (I Kings 22:43). We must not only cleanse our way before the Lord, but remove any evil thing which may cause others to stumble.
The other cloud is indicated in II Chronicles 16:12: “Asa… was diseased in his feet… yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.” Strange that in affliction he should not have turned to the Great Physician. The enemy of souls is ever on the watch. Pray that amid the pains of death, you may not act unworthily.
1 Kings 15:16-34 – Warring Brethren
We obtain a fuller view of the events described in the earlier part of this passage by reference to II Chronicles 16:1-6. Asa’s early piety, which shone out in his drastic purging of idolatry and the corruptions which sprang up like fungi on a damp soil, cannot be questioned. Strange that such a man, who, by faith in God, had driven back Zerah’s formidable invasion, should in later years succumb to the craven methods of mere expediency in his conflict with Baasha.
This league with Ben-hadad arose from unbelief. Even true believers are sometimes hard pressed to maintain their integrity, because the trials of faith tend to increase. When Peter looked at the rising billows, his heart became troubled and he began to sink. To Asa’s alliance with this heathen king may be traced the beginning of the downfall of both kingdoms—of the ten tribes and of Judah. Palestine was no longer a neutral state, but became involved in the political combinations of the time. Those that honor God are honored, I Samuel 2:30; those that put their trust elsewhere rue it all their days.