Jul. 2. Succession of Various Kings in Israel; Asa’s Battles with Israel

I Kin. 15:16-16:28; II Chron. 16:1-14

Israel was led by a succession of five kings during the reign of Asa in Judah. Nadab, the son of Jeroboam began his reign during the second year of Asa, but because of his wickedness and Jeroboam’s lineage being taken away by God, he was assassinated in less than a year by Baasha, also an evil man.

Baasha destroyed everyone in the house of Jeroboam. God sometimes uses evil people to execute punishment upon other evil persons. He reigned for twenty-four years and at his death, his son, Elah became king of Israel.

Elah’s reign began during the twenty-sixth year of Asa’s Judean reign. However, because of the wickedness of himself and of his father, Baasha, he also was assassinated by Zimri during Asa’s twenty-seventh year.

After Zimri had been king for only seven days, the Israelites revolted and made their army commander, Omri king over Israel. His reign began in turbulence since half of the people wanted Tibni to be their king, but the followers of Omri prevailed after a four-year civil war. He ruled over Israel for twelve years. Israel was governed by many wicked kings. Omri was no exception as was stated, “Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all who were before him…” He died and was followed by his son, Ahab.

Asa had been king of Judah about two years when Baasha became king of Israel. His period of relative peace came to an end as he and Baasha continually disputed and warred over the boundary north of Jerusalem. In time, Baasha began to fortify Ramah to prevent his people from entering Jerusalem to worship.

The king of Judah made a treaty with Ben-Hadad of Syria to return Ramah to the control of Asa. With that being completed, Asa’s people began to remove the fortifications that had been placed by Baasha.

There was a huge problem with Asa’s action. The Lord sent Hanani the seer to inform the king of his mistake. He had relied upon assistance from another source instead of seeking help from God as he had done previously during the attack from Ethiopia. As a result, he would continue to be plagued by wars during the remaining time of his reign as king of Judah. He died from a disease of his feet ending a reign of forty-one years.