Study Notes

1Kings 16:1-34

16:1 The Word Of The Lord Came

The Word of the Lord came to the prophet Jehu, the son of Khan-aw-NEE. Jehu is not the most famous prophet in the Scriptures, but he does appear in this time period of the kings. He ministered the Word of the Lord not only in Israel, but also in Judah. He gave both rebuke and encouragement from the Lord (1Chron 19:3).

What fascinates me is how the prophets received the Word of the Lord. Well over a hundred times the Bible says, "the Word of the Lord came." But the frustration is that it doesn't tell us how it came. Sometimes in dreams or visions, but most often the Bible is silent as to the manner by which the word of the Lord came. We wonder if it was a booming voice from the sky, a letter was dropped from heaven, or if the prophets heard it audibly inside their heads.

I don't know how they heard it, but I believe that the word of God came to them in the same way that we heard God's voice.

And I know that we hear God's voice, for Jesus said,

John 10:27-28 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them...

So, if you have been born again, you hear God's voice. This tells me that God's voice is not always audible, but it is always discernable. After all, God is God, and He has a wonderful ability to communicate. Now, we can also choose not to listen, or do what He says, for the writer of Hebrews said,


When do you harden your heart against God's voice? When you know what the Lord says and refuse to abide by it. Therefore, the voice of God, the Word of the Lord, is speaking directly to our spirits, right into our hearts. We don't need to sit in a Yoga position and wait for an audible revelation from God. God is speaking to us, guiding us in our decisions, and directing our hearts as we let Him lead.

He also guides our mouths at the right time if we are submitted to Him. Remember that Jesus told the disciples,

Mark 13:11 "And when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but {it is} the Holy Spirit.

So God was directing the prophet Jehu to speak against the sin of Bah-SHAW, the current king of Israel, and would speak directly through him.

16:2-4 Prophecy Against Baasha

The Lord spoke through Jehu against the house of Bah-SHAW. All along, God has been waiting for a godly man to step up and take the reigns of this nation in rebellion. But Bah-SHAW is no better than Jeroboam. Because of this, God will judge his house the same way that He judged Jeroboam's house.

16:5-7 judgment On The Instrument Of judgment

Bah-SHAW died and his son Ay-LAW became king in his place. The judgment upon the house will take place in just two years.

Notice something here: According to verse seven, God was judging Bah-SHAW's house not only for sinning like Jeroboam's house, but also for striking it down. This is interesting to me. You recall that in chapter 14, God proclaimed that He would bring calamity on the house of Jeroboam for bringing the nation of Israel into idolatry. He said,

1Kgs. 14:10-11 therefore behold, I am bringing calamity on the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam every male person, both bond and free in Israel, and I will make a clean sweep of the house of Jeroboam, as one sweeps away dung until it is all gone. Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs will eat. And he who dies in the field the birds of the heavens will eat; for the LORD has spoken {it.} "'

God used Bah-SHAW to bring about this judgment against Jeroboam's house in chapter 15. Jeroboam's son Naw-DAWB had become king, and we read,

1Kgs. 15:27-29 Then Baasha the son of Akh-ee-YAW of the house of Issachar conspired against him, and Bah-SHAW struck him down at Ghib-beth-ONE, which belonged to the Philistines, while Naw-DAWB and all Israel were laying siege to Ghib-beth-ONE. So Bah-SHAW killed him in the third year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place. And it came about, as soon as he was king, he struck down all the household of Jeroboam. He did not leave to Jeroboam any persons alive, until he had destroyed them, according to the word of the LORD...

What intrigues me about this is that even though God used Bah-SHAW to bring about His plans, He judged Bah-SHAW for doing it. This becomes an opportunity to see the issue of sovereignty of God being simultaneous with the free will of man. One of the hardest things for mankind to understand is how we can freely choose what to do, but that it is all foreordained by God. This issue becomes very hotly debated in regards to salvation especially.

The Bible tells us clearly that

Eph. 1:5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself...

Those who will be born again, God has predestined for it. This makes people angry, believing that God has taken away people's choice. On the contrary, the Scripture clearly tells us that salvation is for whoever would choose to believe. Thus, God predestines us in His sovereignty according to what our free will choice will be. That is why Romans says,

Rom. 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined...

God knows in advance our choices, and predestines us according to them. Thus, He was able to use Bah-SHAW as an instrument of judgment according to His sovereignty, but judged him for his free will choice to murder and practice idolatry.

16:8-14 The Reign Of Elah

And so Bah-SHAW's son Ay-LAW becomes king, but another conspiracy was in the works. One of his army commanders killed him as he was getting drunk. In prophetic fulfillment, Zimri also struck down the household of Bah-SHAW.

16:15-20 Zimri's Short Reign

After Zimri killed Ay-LAW, he became king and reigned for an entire week! The people of Israel were outraged and Zimri's treachery, and made Omri, the commander of the army, king. Seeing that the army was on their side, Zimri knew that he didn't stand a chance. He went into the king's house, set it on fire, and died in the middle of it.

Death by suicide is never honorable in the Bible, nor is it common. As a matter of fact, there are only seven people in Scripture that we are told killed themselves. Unfortunately, the same is not true for our society today. In the US, about 765,000 people attempt suicide each year, and about 30,000 of them are successful. To put that in perspective, every year the population of a city larger than Laramie kills themselves.

I'm going to be perfectly blunt here. As a Christian, you do not have the option of killing yourself. Your life is not yours to take. Jesus Christ purchased you with His own blood, so you no longer have ownership over your body.

1Cor. 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Suicide is never the solution, never an option, and never your right.

16:21-22 The Divided Kingdom Divided

So Omri, the commander of the army, was made king, but not everybody agreed with the decision. Half the people followed Tib-NEE, the son of Ghee-NATH. But Tib-NEE didn't last long.

16:23-27 The Reign Of Omri

One thing that Omri did was to buy a hill from SHEH-mer. He had a city built on it, which he named Samaria, after SHEH-mer, the former owner.

Samaria will factor into much of the rest of the Bible, even experiencing an evangelistic revival in the book of Acts (Acts 8:5-8).

But there was no revival in Omri's heart. He was as sinful as the other kings of Israel had been.

16:28-33 King Ahab

Omri's son was Ahab. When Ahab became king, he was far more wicked than any king who had come before him. His wife was Jezebel, a Tsee-DON-ian princess, the daughter of Eth-BAH-al. King Ahab worshiped the false god Baal, and established Samaria as a center of Baal worship.

16:34 Jericho Rebuilt

As we end the chapter, we see the fulfillment of a prophecy back in the book of Joshua. After the people of Israel had marched around the city of Jericho and blown the trumpets, God made the walls fall down. We read,

Josh. 6:24 And they burned the city with fire, and all that was in it...

Josh. 6:26 Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying, "Cursed before the LORD is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with {the loss of} his first-born he shall lay its foundation, and with {the loss of} his youngest son he shall set up its gates."

This curse was spoken, and God would fulfill it. In the days of King Ahab, a man rebuilt the city of Jericho. He was Khee-ALE, a Bethelite, and the curse spoke by Joshua came down upon him. He laid the city's foundations with the loss of his first-born son Ab-ee-RAWM, and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son Seg-OOB.

Next study, we will begin to see the ministry of the prophet Elijah.

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