“Inasmuch as I exalted you from the dust and made you leader over My people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made My people Israel sin, provoking Me to anger with their sins, behold, I will consume Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.”
1 Kings 16:2-3
In chapter 15, Nadab the son of Jeroboam became king over Israel (15:25). There were two things working against this: the conspiracy of Baasha and a prophecy handed down by God to Jeroboam regarding his lineage. Baasha conspires against Nadab and kills him and as soon as [Baasha] was king, he struck down all the household of Jeroboam. He did not leave to Jeroboam any persons alive, until he had destroyed them, according to the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Ahijah the Shilonite (15:29). So the lineage of Jeroboam ends.
But Baasha, instead of learning from the mistakes of Jeroboam, Baasha did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel sin (15:34). So God sends a prophet to have a chat with Baasha (16:1-4). The substance of that chat is that Baasha’s lineage will end in much the same way that Jeroboam’s did. Since Baasha had gotten his hands dirty with the blood of Jeroboam’s household, he probably had a graphic idea of what was going to happen to him and his.
While all of this is a rough way to start my morning, I need to stop and ask what this has to do with me and how I can apply it.
First, there is the issue of these kings doing what is evil in the sight of God. If I am doing the wrong thing, I should expect the consequences of wrongdoing. Plain and simple. Jeroboam led Israel into idolatry. He did not sin alone, but brought others along with him. This is a frequently-overlooked aspect of sin: we almost never sin alone. It is not that anyone else necessarily committed the sin with me, though they may have, but the fallout from my wrongs will impact others. Jeroboam sinned and his whole family line suffered the consequences. Lest anyone think God is unjust, Jeroboam’s descendants had sins of their own for which to account — and God knew that they would. And it is these same sins that Baasha commits when he takes the throne of Israel. Wrongdoing has consequences.
Second, both of these men acted to bring about God’s plan in ways that God does not condone. Jeroboam tried to cement his hold on the northern kingdom by introducing a form of worship that God had not ordained. This idolatry was unnecessary. God had promised the kingdom to Jeroboam. All that Jeroboam had to do was follow God and rule wisely and he might have had a dynasty. Instead, his son was murdered for the throne. Baasha conspired against Nadab, Jeroboam’s son, and wiped out Jeroboam’s descendants. That was unnecessary. God is completely able to wipe people out without human intervention. And God had not commanded anyone to do anything to Jeroboam’s family line. To compound his wrongs, Baasha leaves the idolatry in place. I need to let God accomplish His will in His way and on His schedule. This will not always be easy for me — it is frequently difficult — but it is the best way to accomplish God’s will and the only way of doing so that God can condone and bless.
Father, thank You for these accounts that are here for my instruction. Thank You that I can choose to learn from the mistakes these men made. Please teach my heart that wrongdoing has consequences and that Your will is best accomplished Your way and in Your time. I often get impatient and want to do things in the ways that seem right to me. Please remind me of these men and what happens when I get ahead of You and try to do things in the wrong way.