1 Kings 16* The reigns of Baasha and Elah in Israel. (1-14) Reigns ofZimri and Omri in Israel. (15-28) Ahab's wickedness, Hielrebuilds Jericho. (29-34)1-14 This chapter relates wholly to the kingdom of Israel, andthe revolutions of that kingdom. God calls Israel his peoplestill, though wretchedly corrupted. Jehu foretells the samedestruction to come upon Baasha's family, which that king hadbeen employed to bring upon the family of Jeroboam. Those whoresemble others in their sins, may expect to resemble them inthe plagues they suffer, especially those who seem zealousagainst such sins in others as they allow in themselves. Baashahimself dies in peace, and is buried with honour. Herein plainlyappears that there are punishments after death, which are mostto be dreaded. Let Elah be a warning to drunkards, who know notbut death may surprise them. Death easily comes upon men whenthey are drunk. Besides the diseases which men bring themselvesinto by drinking, when in that state, men are easily overcome byan enemy, and liable to bad accidents. Death comes terribly uponmen in such a state, finding them in the act of sin, andunfitted for any act of devotion; that day comes upon themunawares. The word of God was fulfilled, and the sins of Baashaand Elah were reckoned for, with which they provoked God. Theiridols are called their vanities, for idols cannot profit norhelp; miserable are those whose gods are vanities. 15-28 When men forsake God, they will be left to plague oneanother. Proud aspiring men ruin one another. Omri struggledwith Tibni some years. Though we do not always understand therules by which God governs nations and individuals in hisprovidence, we may learn useful lessons from the history beforeus. When tyrants succeed each other, and massacres,conspiracies, and civil wars, we may be sure the Lord has acontroversy with the people for their sins; they are loudlycalled to repent and reform. Omri made himself infamous by hiswickedness. Many wicked men have been men of might and renown;have built cities, and their names are found in history; butthey have no name in the book of life. 29-34 Ahab did evil above all that reigned before him, and didit with a particular enmity both against Jehovah and Israel. Hewas not satisfied with breaking the second commandment byimage-worship, he broke the first by worshipping other gods:making light of lesser sins makes way for greater. Marriageswith daring offenders also imbolden in wickedness, and hurry menon to the greatest excesses. One of Ahab's subjects, followingthe example of his presumption, ventured to build Jericho. LikeAchan, he meddled with the accursed thing; turned that to hisown use, which was devoted to God's honour: he began to build,in defiance of the curse well devoted to God's honour: he beganto build, in defiance of the curse well known in Israel; butnone ever hardened his heart against God, and prospered. Let thereading of this chapter cause us to mark the dreadful end of allthe workers of iniquity. And what does the history of allungodly men furnish, what ever rank or situation they move in,but sad examples of the same?
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