1 Kings 16

* The reigns of Baasha and Elah in Israel. (1-14) Reigns of

Zimri and Omri in Israel. (15-28) Ahab's wickedness, Hiel

rebuilds Jericho. (29-34)

1-14 This chapter relates wholly to the kingdom of Israel, and

the revolutions of that kingdom. God calls Israel his people

still, though wretchedly corrupted. Jehu foretells the same

destruction to come upon Baasha's family, which that king had

been employed to bring upon the family of Jeroboam. Those who

resemble others in their sins, may expect to resemble them in

the plagues they suffer, especially those who seem zealous

against such sins in others as they allow in themselves. Baasha

himself dies in peace, and is buried with honour. Herein plainly

appears that there are punishments after death, which are most

to be dreaded. Let Elah be a warning to drunkards, who know not

but death may surprise them. Death easily comes upon men when

they are drunk. Besides the diseases which men bring themselves

into by drinking, when in that state, men are easily overcome by

an enemy, and liable to bad accidents. Death comes terribly upon

men in such a state, finding them in the act of sin, and

unfitted for any act of devotion; that day comes upon them

unawares. The word of God was fulfilled, and the sins of Baasha

and Elah were reckoned for, with which they provoked God. Their

idols are called their vanities, for idols cannot profit nor

help; miserable are those whose gods are vanities.
15-28 When men forsake God, they will be left to plague one

another. Proud aspiring men ruin one another. Omri struggled

with Tibni some years. Though we do not always understand the

rules by which God governs nations and individuals in his

providence, we may learn useful lessons from the history before

us. When tyrants succeed each other, and massacres,

conspiracies, and civil wars, we may be sure the Lord has a

controversy with the people for their sins; they are loudly

called to repent and reform. Omri made himself infamous by his

wickedness. Many wicked men have been men of might and renown;

have built cities, and their names are found in history; but

they have no name in the book of life.
29-34 Ahab did evil above all that reigned before him, and did

it with a particular enmity both against Jehovah and Israel. He

was not satisfied with breaking the second commandment by

image-worship, he broke the first by worshipping other gods:

making light of lesser sins makes way for greater. Marriages

with daring offenders also imbolden in wickedness, and hurry men

on to the greatest excesses. One of Ahab's subjects, following

the example of his presumption, ventured to build Jericho. Like

Achan, he meddled with the accursed thing; turned that to his

own use, which was devoted to God's honour: he began to build,

in defiance of the curse well devoted to God's honour: he began

to build, in defiance of the curse well known in Israel; but

none ever hardened his heart against God, and prospered. Let the

reading of this chapter cause us to mark the dreadful end of all

the workers of iniquity. And what does the history of all

ungodly men furnish, what ever rank or situation they move in,

but sad examples of the same?

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