First Kings 15 Commentary
Abijah becomes king in Judah and reigns for three years. His son Asa succeeded him as king. Asa was a better king. He expelled the male shrine prostitutes and got rid of all the idols that his parents had made. He also deposed his grandmother from her position as queen Mother for her involvement in idolatry. He would not be the last one to lose a family member on account of his faith in the God of Abraham. The worship of the LORD involves some painful decisions. Something must give way.
Like two mad dogs, the two sister nations are still fighting; Judah and Israel. Asa even enlists the help of a foreign nation against his aggressive brother Baasha who was king of Israel at that time. For his part, Baasha had ascended to the throne by killing King Nadab and the rest of Jeroboam’s family – in fulfillment of the word of the LORD through Ahijah the prophet.
Notably, Baasha continued all the sins of Jeroboam. Jeroboam had introduced idolatry in Israel by declaring two golden calves at Bethel and Dan as Israel’s new gods.
Jeroboam, Nadab, and now Baasha all break the first and most important commandment. When the first commandment to love the LORD with all your heart is broken, the second one to love your neighbor as yourself becomes extinct. No wonder Baasha cannot see any difference between Judah and a foreign enemy nation.
Whenever the first commandment is broken, everything else becomes confusing. Lack of respect for human life, sexual perversion, and general moral corruption become the norm. Look at it again. The world begins by breaking rule number one. When godliness disappears, man becomes worse than wild animals. It is a dead situation for which salvation is desperately needed.
There is however a spark of hope in these sad chapters. For the sake of David, the LORD makes Jerusalem strong. This is the message: for the sake of Jesus, the real Son, you too can be strong. That is the gospel.
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