Scripture reading – 1 Kings 15

Click on this link for translations of this Bible study.

A personal note: Though vitally important, take your time with the names of kings and queens in Judah and Israel. Be comforted that the same God sovereign in the lives of Israel’s kings and queens is at work in your life today.

While the world is chaotic, be confident that God is sovereign!

Why is that important? Because God’s will and His purpose will be accomplished. Accepting and understanding God’s providences in history should encourage you to trust Him, knowing He is ever at work in your life. The LORD is not like man. He does not change with the times and seasons. He is immutable and almighty (Malachi 3:6a). He is perfect in all His ways. What He says, He will do (Numbers 23:19).

James wrote concerning the LORD that there is “no variableness, neither shadow of turning” in Him (James 1:17). The author of Hebrews avowed, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).

As you read the Scriptures, look beyond the personalities and see the hand of God.

Look beyond the personalities and see the hand of God.

1 Kings 15

1 Kings 15 recorded a succession of kings who reigned over Israel and Judah. Rehoboam, the king of Judah, died, and his son Abijam was crowned king, though he reigned only three years (1 Kings 15:1-2). Abijam [his name is stated as “Abijah” in 2 Chronicles] continued in the sins of Solomon and Rehoboam (1 Kings 15:3-8). His life was cut short, and his son Asa ascended to the throne of Judah (1 Kings 15:8) and reigned for forty-one years in Jerusalem (1 Kings 15:10).

The Reign of Asa (1 Kings 15:9-24)

The reign of Asa was a glorious time in Judah. The young king led the nation back to the LORD (1 Kings 15:11). The sodomites (homosexual prostitutes) had found refuge in Judah during Rehoboam’s reign (1 Kings 15:12); however, Asa drove them out of Judah (1 Kings 15:12). Even Maachah, Asa’s grandmother, and Rehoboam’s widow, was not spared Asa’s reforms.

[1 Kings 15:2 states that Maachah was “the daughter of Abishalom,” identified in 2 Chronicles 11:21 as Absalom, the rebellious son of David. The word “daughter” is the word for female offspring. Thus, Maachah may have been Absalom’s granddaughter since he was said to have only one daughter, Tamar, named after his sister, 2 Samuel 14:27.]

Maachah “had made an idol in a grove, and Asa destroyed her idol, and deposed her as the queen mother (1 Kings 15:13). While he was not a perfect man, the king had a heart that “was perfect with the LORD all his days” (1 Kings 15:14).


An Unholy Alliance (1 Kings 15:16-24)

A contemporary of King Asa was Baasha, who became the king of the northern ten Tribes known as Israel (1 Kings 15:16).  Yet, Baasha was determined to make war against Judah. He built the fortress of Ramah to trouble Jerusalem (it was located only some five miles north of Jerusalem, 1 Kings 15:17).

Regrettably, Asa addressed his troubles with Baasha and Israel by seeking a treaty with Benhadad, king of Syria. Asa emptied the treasuries of the Temple and the royal treasury to pay for a league with Syria (1 Kings 15:18-21). In our study of 2 Chronicles 16, we will learn that Asa’s decision to align himself with the king of Syria was contrary to the LORD’s will (2 Chronicles 16:7-10). Though his alliance with Benhadad and Syria worked immediately, God did not bless Judah’s union and dependence on the heathen. The consequences of that compromise will be observed in our following devotional.

Trouble in Israel: The Northern Ten Tribes

Trouble in Israel: The Northern Ten Tribes (1 Kings 15:25-34)

A succession of kings reigned over Israel after Jeroboam’s death. Nadab, the son of Jeroboam, reigned for only three years and continued in the sins of his father (1 Kings 15:25-26). He was assassinated in the third year of his reign by Baasha, who was of the tribe of Issachar (1 Kings 15:27-28). Fulfilling the prophecy that the lineage of Jeroboam would be cut off for his wickedness, Baasha “smote all the house of Jeroboam (1 Kings 15:29-30).

A summary of kings that ruled in Israel was given in the closing verses of 1 Kings 15. Tragically, the pattern of idolatry and wickedness that Jeroboam established continued in the nation (1 Kings 15:34).

Closing thoughts –

Asa’s reign was a glorious one, but like too many older leaders, his compromises in the last years of his life had lasting consequences for Judah. In the 39th year of Asa’s reign, he was afflicted with a disease in his feet (15:23; 2 Chronicles 16:12). While I cannot be sure, the affliction might have turned gangrenous, for “in his [Asa’s] disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians” (2 Chronicles 16:12). Sadly, Asa failed to turn to the LORD.

Where do you turn in times of trial, disappointment, and affliction?

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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