King of Judah [1-8]."
Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
We have seen for the prior chapter, that the thing that really gets our Heavenly Father angry is apostasy. "Apostasy" is when His people fall away from the things of God, and take of man made traditions and fall into idolatry. Both Israel and Judah fell into Apostasy; the house of Israel first and Judah following after, and God is going to come down hard of both of these nations.
We see today that the nations of the old House of Israel nations, those calling themselves "Christian nations" are falling deep into apostasy, falling away from the things of God, and into their man made traditions, whereby they have called the things of God evil, and evil of God. It happens because of ignorance, because the teachers of the Word are not teaching the Word. Thus, through traditions the Christians of today are being prepared for the great apostasy, or falling away, that time when Satan will arrive here on earth declaring himself to be Jesus Christ, and the entire world will believe it to be true.
Apostasy is a digression from even what these king did in their accepting of those heathen forms of Idolatry, which were taken in and added on to the sacrifices and rituals of God. The little grove worship that those ancient people of the house of Israel and the house of Judah practiced is minor to the apostasy that is being allowed into God's houses of worship, and the practices that are going on today. What is done today, even from the pulpits by those so-called holy men and women of God, is going to lead God's people into worshipping Satan himself as the spurious messiah, the "son of perdition, the Antichrist, or by whatever name you wish to call Satan. There is only one son that perishes, and that son is Satan. He has already been sentenced to death, and he will be sitting in Jerusalem declaring himself to be God, and the entire world will believe him, yes even Christians. All that is except those with the "Seal of God", which is the "Word of God" sealed away in their [foreheads] minds before Satan arrives here on earth personally. When Satan comes, he will say, "I'm Jesus" and the world will believe him.
Revelation 9:4 "And it was commanded them [Satan and his fallen angels] that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree [they will be great environmentalist]; but only those men [and women] which have not the seal of God [Word of God] in their foreheads [your mind is in your forehead]."
Satan and his hoards of fallen angels are coming here to earth before Jesus Christ comes at the seventh trump, and you can count on it, Jesus warned us to be ready for it by preparing ourselves in advance: And the elect of God will. This is why apostasy is so serious, for we are in that final generation, and the lessons that we learn here in First King's, Jesus even warned us about in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, and are coming to pass before our eye.
That first one take from the field in Matthew 24:40 is taken by Satan. The Greek has the subject and the object fixed, and the one doing the taking is Antichrist, and the first one taken was taken by him, by Satan. This is why the rapture doctrine is so bad, because it prepares the minds of God's people to be taken by that first one that comes, who is Satan. This is why understanding God's emotions is so important, and playing religion can be so bad.
In I Kings we are seeing how God has made things so good for the Israelites that their minds forgot about God's ways. The heathen nations were bringing the wealth of their lands to Jerusalem, and the people of Israel were taking these blessing of God for granted. They were taking wives of these heathen, and with the wives came their heathen religions. If God blesses you and give you a good life, He expects your love and thanks in return, not shared with some heathen god. In time religious nonsense worked and mixed into the ways that God instructed that He should be worshipped. Because of the sins of Israel, God split the tribes into two nations, and that is how it is today. The nation that calls itself "Israel" today, is that small nation of the house of Judah. Israel and Judah will not come back together until after Jesus Christ has returned and set up his Millennium kingdom right here on earth. It has not happened yet, but it will be shortly.
In this fifteenth chapter we are getting into the lineage of the kings of both nation, and on pages 132 and 133 is a sketch the kingdoms of these two nations.
I Kings 15:1 "Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam [Rehoboam's son] over Judah."
"Abijam" should read, "Abijah" for they are one and the same person.
I Kings 15:2 "Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom."
"Jerusalem" was the capital city of the house of Judah. As we read in II Chronicles 11:21, "Abishalom" is "Absalom", David's son. This mother, Maachah, in the Hebrew text of II Chronicles 13:2 is "Michaiah". So Maachah would be a great granddaughter of David; that through David's son Absalom whos daughter was Tamar, came Maachah. Maachah married her cousin, Rehoboam, who became the king after Solomon's death. Rehoboam and Maachah's first child was Abijam, he became king over the nation of the house of Judah following Reheboam's death.
I Kings 15:3 "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."
It is through the seed of David that Christ would come, therefore God will hold this nation together for Christ's sake. Even though the Seed, Jesus Christ, is not of this king line, this kingship is the protector of Nathan's lineage, where Jesus would come.
I Kings 15:4 "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:"
This "lamp" is a light that will be in Jerusalem. In other words, God is promising that He will not let anything interfere with that Lamp that would come, the True Light that is Jesus Christ. This is a prophecy of the coming of Christ through the lineage of David. At the same time, don't overlook the compassion of our heavenly Father. It is so important that this lineage be protected. God loves all His children, and through Christ, this lamp of Jerusalem, will come the Savior of all Israel. Had that light and lamp not come forth to light the world, there would be no salvation. Man has proven over and over that he simply can not earn his salvation by following the law, for when you break one of the laws, you have broken them all, and we would all fall far short of God's standard and be condemned: Were it not for the gift that was paid by Jesus Christ at the cross, this light that came through this house of Judah.
It is through God forgiveness at the cross of Christ, that we gain God's love, and get a fresh new start in our lives.
I Kings 15:5 "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."
For a military man, that was a hard thing to accept, for David sent that brave warrior right into the heat of battle, to have him killed so that he could marry his wife Bath-sheba. David paid a heavy price for that sin, for that sin brought rape, incest, murder and all sorts of sinful acts that God allowed to happen in David own family, for the sake of David evil act. Sure David was truly sorry after he saw the sin he had committed, but God allowed the correction to come anyhow. Even to the point of having his own son Absalom, the grandfather of Abijam, hunt David down to kill him. David repented to God, and went back to following God's ways, but the correction by God still took place. Other than that one event, David followed God's ways, and tried to do right in the eyes of the lord all over his life.
I Kings 15:6 "And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life."
This is one family that fought and bickered all the time that they were together. Remember even back in David's day, the ten tribes tried to break away from Judah, but David took his 470,000 man army, and brought Israel into subjection. Both of these Nations are David's family, and from the seed of Israel [Jacob]. It is the family of God, and we are all members of that family, many even grafted in through the blood of Christ.
If all a family does is fight and argue with one another, in time it will fall apart. There hast of be some forgiveness, some bonding or that family will completely fall apart. There is enough problems that come from the outside, that a family doesn't need the conflict within. We will see how this conflict developed to where both parts of Israel will become scattered all over the world. The lesson for us today is that we keep our family as a unit, and fighting only removes God's blessing from that family. In this generation that we are living in today, we see that there is nothing new under the sun, for those things that happened before are happening again and again, over and over. As the squabbles go on, the lawyers become richer, as they divide up the family wealth and take their heavy fees right off the top of the family property.
I Kings 15:7 "Now the rest of the acts of Abijam [Abijah], 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."
There was a conflict that went on continually between these two nations.
I Kings 15:8 "And Abijam slept with his fathers; and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead."
The "city of David" is Jerusalem. Asa will be king over Judah for 41 years.
I Kings 15:9 "And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel reigned Asa over Judah."
Israel is still divided into two houses and the war that went on between Rehoboam and Jeroboam, carried over into Abijam's kingdom, and now into Asa's kingdom, and the war goes on. The reason that God went into this much repetition of all these kingships, is so you will not forget that this is the same family of David ruling in both these nation. To understand the migration of both these houses, you must keep these things in mind.
I Kings 15:10 "And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom."
Though it says, "Mother's name was Maachah", Asa was the grandson of Maachah, for his father was Abijam, the son of Maachah. Asa is the fifth in line from David. Maachah is now the Queen Mother, which would indicate that Asa's mother would have passed away in his early life, and his grandmother was around to advise.
I Kings 15:11 "And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did David his father,"
So after three generation of idol worshippers, here comes Asa, a man seeking to please God. From Solomon, Rehoboam, and Abijam they all like to chase after other god's and bring in heathen rituals, but Asa sought to follow God's ways. Asa is different, he is more like David, he wants to please God. We see that all the time, where a father and grandfather are very wicked, and along comes a son that is just the opposite. Sometimes it is just the opposite and the father is a man of God, and the son turns out to be wicked.
I Kings 15:12 "And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made."
This is referring to only the male prostitutes, male to male in their sexual relations, and removed them and their filthy actions out of the land. Abijam allowed these sodomites to have a respectable position in the land, and Asa would not allow it to happen. What was the punishment for sodomy? Death, if you want to flaunt your filth, your dead, that is God's judgment on sodomites. Asa then took all the idols, even those that his own family members were worshipping, and destroyed them. He started in his own home, and then out there on the Mount of Olives where Solomon started the whole process, when he brought them in to please his wives. Asa did a complete house cleaning.
I Kings 15:13 "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."
Asa even took his own Queen Mother and removed her from office, and tore down her idols also. This Queen Mother had her idols given in sex orgies of grove worship placed right outside the east gate by the river Kidron, at the foot of the mount of Olives. She was looking to the east for her rituals, with the rest of the Baal worshippers stood when they bowed to their little altars of Satan. King Asa, took all their forms of idols, and threw them into the gully at Kidron, and burned them all. When you go all the way to the top to remover evil from the kingdom, you are also going to get those that want to hand on to their sins, for they have come to love their rituals.
I Kings 15:14 "But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the Lord all his days."
It is hard to understand how you can kill all the sodomites, destroy all the idols, and clean out the government of wickedness, yet leave the "high places" of worship in tact to continue, and still please God. However when you go into the Hebrew it becomes clearer of what this is saying. These "high places" that were left were the altars that were build to the True God, that were illegal altars by the Temple standards. They were places of worship outside the temple walls, but their worship was to the True God. God has accepted this, even though the priests of the Temple did not.
This is what we would call traditional worship, for there are many things and people that go by the name of the Father, yet what the do and say is obvious that it is not of God's Word. Every thing that they do and say in their church house claims to be of, and to the Father, but they do not read and study from His Word. The whole word of God is not taught chapter by chapter and verse by verse, so that the people know what the Lord God is truly saying. They pass off heathen ritual and practice that they have brought in to their churches, and they pass it off as being something of God. It is happening today and it is just as common today as it was in Asa's day.
In Asa's day, he tore down those idols to Ashtorath, to the feast of Ishtar, yet their little traditions of those thing that had drifted into the worship of God's house were allowed to remain. Today those feast days are called Easter, and because Christ's death is attached to those heathen customs, that is suppose to make it right, according to most all pastors. They defile the Passover the very communion of the blood of Christ with their heathen rituals, and they think that God winks at their ignorance and stupidity, as is stated here with Asa. The point to this verse is that Asa did not destroy all those places that claimed to worship God, even though what they taught were nothing but the traditions of men.
I Kings 15:15 "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."
This is no doubt the wealth that he had taken from those high places of Israel, for his father and Jeroboam had just fought and Abijam had the victory. II Chronicles 13:13-22 records the battle and he heavy losses by the house of Israel. God gave the victory, and the wealth that was taken Asa dedicated back to the Lord. The silver, gold and vessels from that battle is the silver mentioned here. We know that this was not Solomon's wealth, because the Pharaoh of Egypt came in and took all the wealth from both the Temple and the palaces of the king.
I Kings 15:16 "And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days."
When Jeroboam died, his son Nadab became king, however he was killed by his brother Baasha, and Baasha became the king. It was only for a matter of a few months that Nadab was king, for even if it were for one day of a year, it would be considered an entire year. Baasha was king over Israel for 24 years and the entire time of Baasha's reign he warred with Asa.
I Kings 15:17 "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."
"Ramah" was about six miles north of the city of Jerusalem, about a two hour walk, and that was the line between the north and the south. King Baasha build their barriers to stop the people of Israel from entering into Jerusalem. The purpose of this blockade is stated in II Chronicles 16:1; "...and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah." This was just to close the the capital of Judah, and Asa knew that he had to do something about it. King Baasha came so close that he even took the high ground, the defense of the city of Jerusalem.
I Kings 15:18 "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 Benhadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,"
Absorb now in your mind what Asa is doing to take action against Baasha's aggression. Asa took all the wealth and gave it over to the king of Syria. He took the things of God and gave it away. Did he go to the Father for help? no, he sought help from mercenaries. So this is what Asa said to king Benhadad, to make a covenant with him.
I Kings 15:19 "There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thty 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."
You and I are going to be buddies, just as our father's were buddies. So what is wrong with this agreement between Asa and Benhadad? To this point, Asa did every thing that God liked, and God stated that He was pleased with Asa. Even to the point that Asa led one of the actions against Israel, and God gave him the victory. Part of this booty came from that victory when Judah was greatly outnumbered. Yet, here Asa is giving everything away, yes even the things of God, just to buy the friendship of Benhadad. Did Asa call on the king of Asyria then? No. he called on God. So what is going wrong here? God does not appreciate His people turning to someone else for protection. God expects you to lean on Him. The moment you look elsewhere, to a fake church, or anything of man, when you look anywhere else for spiritual guidance, you are displeasing God.
Put yourself in God place, if your were powerful and ready to protect your own children, only to have your children turn to heathen foreigners for their protection. You had the power to blow their enemies away, yet they went chasing after some cream puff for their safety, how would you feel about it? God didn't like it. It may seem like history to us as we read it, but it is just as true today as it was back then. God expects you to lean on Him, and to call out to Him when you are in trouble. God is real, and He expects you, as one of His children to put your trust in Him. When the danger signs [the Ramahs] go up, than that is the time to call on our Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ. Asa blew his favor before the Lord in a big way.
I Kings 15:20 "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."
Benhadad took the gold and silver, and sealed the covenant by sending his army against the cities of Israel. Benhadad ripped right through the heart of the land of the house of Israel, and did great damage. Asa more than got his money's worth from the Syrians. One side of the family paying a great wealth to an outsider to rip off the other side of the family. This is a costly lesson, and God is not happy when it is done.
I Kings 15:21 "And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building of Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah."
When king Baasha heard what was happening far to the north, he stopped building the fort at Ramah, and headed back to the capital city of Tirzah. Asa's act worked, for those mercenaries forced Baasha away from Ramah. However there will be a far greater price that will be paid in the long run.
I Kings 15:22 "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."
While Baasha was battling Benhadad, Asa made a proclamation to all the men of the land, and they went up on that hill just north of Jerusalem, and took apart the fort of Ramah that Baasha had built. With those stones and timbers, Asa built his own forts at Geba, and at Mizpah. With the mistake of Baasha, Asa made two more mistakes. Neither Asa nor Baasha found out how to have peace of mind with God, for they tried to build their own walls of security away from the security that God gives. This is a lesson that will bring you peace of mind, if you pay attention to what pleases God. God will deal with Asa before it is all over for him.
I Kings 15:23 "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."
I Kings 15:24 "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."
All of the acts of Asa are written in II Chronicles, and there is nothing hidden as to how God dealt with Asa for not trust in Him. God withheld nothing, for those acts and the payment and correction for doing those wicked things are made very clear in II Chronicles chapters fourteen through sixteen. The point that is given here is that the more God gives to some, the more careless that they become with what they have received through their blessings. God blessed Asa with a victory over an army that far outnumbered him and gave him the spoils of the battle. Yet Asa took that blessing and gave it all away. Asa not only tried to buy his way out of the same trouble that he was in before, but turns to an enemy of God, to use hired mercenaries to obtain the victory. This was a family matter. God told Asa what would happen through one of His prophet Hanani, also called "seer". There is no doubt in Asa's mind what God thinks of him.
II Chronicles 16:9 "For the eyes of the Lord run to and from throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars."
In other words, God observes what happens on the face of the earth. Asa had been perfect toward Him for many years, for he tore down the idols, kill all the sodomites and cleaned up the land for a time. However, Asa left some of those outlaw churches around that didn't teach God's ways, and when he sent all the things of God over to the heathen, and gave it away, God didn't like what he had done, and this prophet Hanani was telling him so.
II Chronicles 16:10 "And Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. and Asa oppressed some of the People the same time."
Asa simply was so angry in rage with what this prophet said, and he put him in prison over it. Asa went bad, and took it out on the people for what God was going to do to Him.
II Chronicles 16:11 "And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel."
Those acts are what we just read here in I King 15."
II Chronicles 16:12 "And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians."
Even when he became so sick that he could not walk, he would not confide in the Lord.
II Chronicles 16:13 "And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign."
Right it the very end, Asa would not confide in the Lord God. When Asa gets sick, he would not seek help from God, but he goes to man for the healing. This is not instructing you to stay away from medical help, but telling by to seek help and guidance for God, and ask God for help through the doctors that are helping you. That they will have the wisdom to treat you and give you the care you need. Even Luke the apostle of God, and the writer of the book of Luke was a medical doctor. However pray to the Father for healing.
I Kings 15:25 "And Nadab the son of Jeroboam behan to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned over Israel two years."
I Kings 15:26 "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."
Over and over, from father to son and on to the next generation, the continuation of this worshipping of the two golden calves continued.
I Kings 15:27 "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."
This "Ahijah", is correct for it is the same person we read of earilier as being "Abijam".
I Kings 15:28 "Even in the third year of Asa king of Judah did Baasha slay him, and reigned in his stead."
The total reign of Ahijah was less than two years when Baasha killed him, and started to reign.
I Kings 15:29 "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:"
Remember that prophet from Shilo that took the new coat off Jeroboam, and ripped it into twelve pieces. He told Jeroboam that God was going to give him ten Tribes of the House of Israel, and that they would be a separate nation. This same prophet told the wife of Jeroboam that this would happen, when she came disguised as another woman, to seek help for her son. Ahijah said that God would not leave Jeroboam one male living that would continue the throne of the house of Israel. This verse makes that prophecy come to pass. Baasha was one of Abijam's own men, and close to him. This ends Jeroboam's dynasty that was passed to his sons. God once again proved that He keeps his word and you can count of it.
I Kings 15:30 "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."
God told Jeroboam that his kingdom would be a successful as David, if you would keep my commandments and Statutes, and follow My ways. He did not, and by his own provocation against God's laws, he chose to bring in the two golden calves to be worshipped, and God brought down his dynasty.
I Kings 15:31 "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?"
Yes they are, all of them.
I Kings 15:32 "And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days."
They warred because the family was divided. They stopped picking on the heathen around themselves and fighting within the family. Any fighting within a family will destroy the family unit. This is nothing new, for friction is going on in many homes even today. It starts between a man and his wife, and it stretches from there into all parts of the family. Fighting goes on over things that just don't amount to a hill of beans. In the end, the lawyers get the wealth, and the husband and wife both are left out on the street.
I Kings 15:33 "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."
I Kings 15:34 "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."
Over and over, the same sins are committed and from the repetition the next generation simply did not learn from the prior generation's mistakes. King after king and time after time the same old sins are committed, and their eyes still haven't been opened to the fact that we have a Jealous God. They can all have the most peaceful life in the world if they would only chose it, however they continued on infighting amongst themselves, and turning their backs to God and His Ways and Word.
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