Chapter 16 of 1 Kings is a rather sad chapter. It is a series of losers that led Israel. They all lived lives that were evil in God’s eyes. It starts with Baasha being wiped out and his son Elah taking the reigns. Elah lasted only two years living a life disgusting to God before Zimri kills him in a drunken stupor. Zimri only lasts 7 days before the army leader Omri hears of the overthrow and returns to take the kingdom away. Zimri completely wipes out the family of Baasha (just like we heard in the previous chapter had happened to the family of Jeroboam) and dies by setting the palace on fire so he could not be killed by Omri. Omri and Tibni each then led half the nation of Israel for a while before Tibni is removed and Omri has the kingdom. He had control for 12 years but “led Israel into his sins”. Ahab follows for 22 years. This is a new low. He was a “new champion of evil”. Ahab didn’t just “copy the sins of Jeroboam”, but he added these:
- Marrying Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal King of the Sidonians
- Serving and worshiping the god Baal
- Built a shrine to the sacred whore Asherah
“He made the God of Israel angrier than all the previous kings of Israel put together”. How is that for a legacy? He made God angrier than all the others combined. What a long line of losers that lead Israel. Leadership matters guys. And how the leader lives impacts all who follow. It is a big deal in God’s eyes. Many people suffered and died because of the choices of these 6 lousy kings. Bad things happened. We need to keep our eyes focused on walking with God and fleeing anything that would pull us away.