Summary: God seeks to restore His covenantal relationship with His people.
We will be looking at the reign of King AHAB for the next few weeks.
• After the split of the Kingdom, this is the longest record we have of a King – from chapters 16-22.
AHAB is the son of OMRI. Read 1 Kings 16:29-34.
16:25 “Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned MORE THAN all those before him.”
• This was the award he has – being “Most Evil King in Israel” but it was quickly handed over to his son.
• AHAB succeeded his father and 16:30 “Ahab son of Omri DID MORE EVIL in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him.”
• Ahab became the most wicked King Israel had experienced.
Ahab perpetuated the sins of Jeroboam, and even considered them trivial.
• Notice a deceased name was mentioned many times in this chapter – Jeroboam.
• He died 40 years ago but he was still remembered, for all the wrong reasons.
• All the kings from Nadab to Ahab (except Elah indirectly) were said to have followed the evil ways of Jeroboam.
The thing that Jeroboam did – some 60 years ago (at the start of his reign) when he set up the two golden calves and the high places of worship – left a lasting impact.
• Generations after him continued to do the things he did. The author made references to him, again and again, one dynasty after another.
• Jeroboam did not just died a sinner. He left a sinful legacy that perpetuated.
Watch your life because it has an impact beyond you.
• Paul (1 Tim 4:16): “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
Watch what we leave behind. Not the material things we leave behind but the influence that we leave behind when we pass on.
• What will we be known for after we passed on? What are some lasting values that we leave behind for the generations to come?
• We are not talking about houses, inheritance or money, but a particular kind of life.
• The godly life that will impact, not just your generation, but the next, and the next.
Sadly King Ahab did more to provoke God to anger.
• 16:31 says he not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam, but also married Jezebel from Sidon and brought in a new god.
• Ahab serves Baal, worship him, set up altar for him and built a temple for Baal in Samaria for Baal.
• He adds to all of these the Asherah pole - pagan goddess of the Canaanites.
• He did more to provoke God to anger than did all the kings of Israel before him.
16:34 “In Ahab's time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun.”
• This is not a trivia about a construction work. “In Ahab’s time” implied that Hiel had taken instruction from King Ahab to undertake this.
• They rebuilt Jericho, which was against God’s will. When the Israelites first entered Canaan, this was their first obstacle and God did a miracle to remove it.
After the conquest, Joshua pronounced God’s judgement.
• Josh 6:26 “At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: "Cursed before the LORD is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: "At the cost of his firstborn son will he lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest will he set up its gates."
• The author tells us a matter-of-factly that when the foundation was laid, Hiel’s firstborn died, and when he set up the gates, his youngest son died.
• IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WORD OF THE LORD spoken by Joshua, some 400 years before.
The picture is clear. King Ahab has been doing everything against God’s will.
• It was not some occasional sin but a consistent, outright defiance of God’s Word.
• He considered it even trivial to sin like Jeroboam.
An OT professor in a seminary once led his OT class out to the parking lot, tossed his bible down on the pavement, put his car jack on top of the bible, and then jacked up his car on top of it!
It was a dramatic act to illustrate the point that the OT Kings treated the Word of God with contempt!
We expect God to judge him hard. It would be right to “call down fire from heaven and destroy him”, just like what James and John thought of doing in Luke 9, against the Samaritans for rejecting Jesus.