Read 1 Kings 15
Abijah King of Judah
15 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijah became king of Judah, 2 and he reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother’s name was Maakah daughter of Abishalom.
3 He committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been. 4 Nevertheless, for David’s sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong. 5 For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.
6 There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam throughout Abijah’s lifetime. 7 As for the other events of Abijah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 8 And Abijah rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. And Asa his son succeeded him as king.
Asa King of Judah
9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa became king of Judah, 10 and he reigned in Jerusalem forty-one years. His grandmother’s name was Maakah daughter of Abishalom.
11 Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done. 12 He expelled the male shrine prostitutes from the land and got rid of all the idols his ancestors had made. 13 He even deposed his grandmother Maakah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for the worship of Asherah. Asa cut it down and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 14 Although he did not remove the high places, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life. 15 He brought into the temple of the Lord the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated.
16 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns. 17 Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.
18 Asa then took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of his own palace. He entrusted it to his officials and sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, the king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. 19 “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you a gift of silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”
20 Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. He conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maakah and all Kinnereth in addition to Naphtali. 21 When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and withdrew to Tirzah. 22 Then King Asa issued an order to all Judah—no one was exempt—and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using there. With them King Asa built up Geba in Benjamin, and also Mizpah.
23 As for all the other events of Asa’s reign, all his achievements, all he did and the cities he built, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? In his old age, however, his feet became diseased. 24 Then Asa rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of his father David. And Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king.
Nadab King of Israel
25 Nadab son of Jeroboam became king of Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of his father and committing the same sin his father had caused Israel to commit.
27 Baasha son of Ahijah from the tribe of Issachar plotted against him, and he struck him down at Gibbethon, a Philistine town, while Nadab and all Israel were besieging it. 28 Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of Asa king of Judah and succeeded him as king.
29 As soon as he began to reign, he killed Jeroboam’s whole family. He did not leave Jeroboam anyone that breathed, but destroyed them all, according to the word of the Lord given through his servant Ahijah the Shilonite. 30 This happened because of the sins Jeroboam had committed and had caused Israel to commit, and because he aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel.
31 As for the other events of Nadab’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 32 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel throughout their reigns.
Baasha King of Israel
33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king of all Israel in Tirzah, and he reigned twenty-four years. 34 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.
1 Kings 15 introduces us to four different kings (two from Judah and two from Israel) and we, the readers, are told if they did good or evil in the eyes of the Lord. Let’s zoom in on the two kings of Judah.
Our Father in Heaven’s ask of us is really quite simple: He asks for our obedience and faithfulness. He wants us to believe in His character and His promises. He blesses these promises in eternity and in the fulfillment of our lives. We rarely see those whose lives are recorded in the Old Testament abiding by these qualities. Instead, more often than not, they walked in what was displeasing in the eyes of the Lord.
King David’s legacy was the stick by which the following kings were measured by. The legacies of those who are not faithful are largely shallow and forgotten. Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” What the wicked build during their time on earth quickly turns into rot or ends up in the possession of others. Abijah is a prime example of this.
Abijah reigns from the house of Judah and continues the lineage of David. David left a legacy of faithfulness and an inheritance of royal and social equity by doing what was pleasing in the eyes of our Lord. His faithfulness and obedience had weight with the souls of those around him and those who came after him. Abijah’s reign, though he was sinful and bore no fruitful legacy, was let alone on account of David, his forefather. He reigned, he died, and his son Asa ruled after him.
Asa’s faithfulness had no withholding. Re-read this description (v. 14) of Asa: “Asa’s heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life.” This sort of obedience was richly blessed by the Lord. The heart of Asa did not waver in spite of his family’s influence. Amidst war and strife, he held strong to the simple and optimal desires our Creator wants for us. This obedience never leads to regret.
- Where have you been withholding in your faithfulness and obedience? How does the enemy tempt you in this? What are you nervous to let go of, and why?
- Whose opinion are you fearing enough to sway your own?
- What will be inherited from your life by those who love and follow you?
“God, I want full and unblemished obedience. I want to know you intimately and sit fully in your provisions. Grow the qualities in me that bear fruit and do ministry and prune the ones that don’t. Make me holy for Your Glory, no exceptions. You are Good and Faithful in all things. Amen.”
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