Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes -

Part XVI: Blessing In Respecting God And His Word Above Personal Ambition
(1 Kings 15:32-16:14)
  1. Introduction
    1. Our culture often exalts selfish ambition, the thrust of which is echoed in the "I did it my way!" saying.
    2. However, in the Christian life, selfish ambition is a great evil, cf. James 3:14-15 NIV, ESV, something we see evidenced in the lives of the two kings who ruled in Baasha's line (as follows):
  2. Blessing In Respecting God And His Word Above Personal Ambition, 1 Kings 15:32-16:14.
    1. When king Jeroboam of the Northern Kingdom led Israel into deep idolatry, God's prophet, Ahijah announced in 1 Kings 14:9-10, 14 that God would raise up a king who would destroy Jeroboam's line.
    2. However, God did NOT say He Himself would approve of the WAY Jeroboam's lineage would be destroyed by this king, nor that He would even approve of the act of that king to annihilate Jeroboam's line, but merely that He would RAISE UP the one who would himself DO this deed!
    3. As it turned out, Baasha, the man who would be the agent in the fulfillment of this prophecy, actually plotted to murder Nadab, Jeroboam's son when he laid a siege against the Philistine town of Gibbethon, 1 Kings 15:27-28. Then, Baasha continued to murder the rest of Jeroboam's seed, 1 Kings 15:29.
    4. However, such selfish ambition coupled with Baasha's self-centered continuation of Jeroboam's idolatry was cause for God to raise up a man who would annihilate Baasha's line as he had Jeroboam's:
      1. When Baasha came to the throne, he selfishly continued to do evil, promoting the false idol worship begun by Jeroboam to keep his subjects from returning to Jerusalem for worship, 15:32-34 & 12:26-30.
      2. For this reason as well as for his murders of Jeroboam's line in selfish ambition, God sent the prophet, Hanani to predict the destruction of Baasha's own line since he had continued in Jeroboam's sin and also had selfishly murdered Jeroboam's seed in selfish ambition in violation of the Law, 16:1-7:
        1. God sent the prophet, Hanani to inform Baasha that it was the Lord Who had caused Baasha to be able to rise up as the king of Israel, something Baasha in his selfish ambition to gain Israel's throne had not considered, 1 King 16:1-2a.
        2. Yet, since Baasha had not followed the Lord Who gave him the throne, but had continued leading Israel in Jeroboam's false worship just to keep his subjects loyal in selfish ambition, God would allow Baasha's line to be destroyed as Baasha had annihilated Jeroboam's line, 16:2b-4; 14:11.
        3. When Baasha died and his son, Elah reigned in his place, God fulfilled this promise of the destruction of Baasha's line, 1 Kings 16:5-7b.
        4. Then, besides his selfish continuation of Jeroboam's idolatry, the writer of 1 Kings notes Baasha's lawless murder of Jeroboam's line done in selfish ambition was another reason for the destruction of Baasha's line, an act in violation of the Mosaic Law, cf. 1 Kings 16:7c with Exodus 20:13!
    5. Just how this judgment predicted against Baasha was fulfilled is recorded in 1 Kings 16:8-14:
      1. When Baasha died, his son, Elah began to reign on Israel's throne, 1 Kings 16:8.
      2. However, Elah's servant, Zimri who led half of Elah's chariot force, conspired against him to murder Elah as he was drinking himself drunk in the house of his steward, Arza in the town of Tirzah, 16:9-10.
      3. As soon as Zimri came to the throne, he proceeded to kill all the house of Baasha, including male children, extended family and even Baasha's friends, 1 Kings 16:11.
      4. This effectively fulfilled the prediction by the prophet, Jehu for the sins of Elah and of Baasha in their continuation of Jeroboam's idolatry, 1 Kings 16:12-14.
Lesson: (1) As Baasha SELFISHLY failed to respect God by upholding Jeroboam's idolatry and killed his Nadab with Jeroboam's seed in SELFISH AMBITION, God let BAASHA'S line be treated like HE had slain Jeroboam's line! (Note the contrast in David's selfless sparing of Saul's life, 1 Samuel 24!)

Application: (1) To enjoy God's blessing in our lives, we must submit any personal agenda we have to revere GOD and HIS WORD in all we do! (2) Even if placed into an oversight position by God as was Baasha, we must recall we are STILL ACCOUNTABLE to GOD in ALL we DO even if an EVIL party (like Nadab) is at our mercy, and DESERVES punishment! We must CHECK our personal ambition SEVERELY in the process of ALL we do, and that especially in oversight if we want God to bless us!