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business woman with arms crossed June 14 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 1Kings 15:33-34; 1Kings 15:16; 1Kings 15:32; 1Kings 15:17-22; 2Chronicles 16:1-10; 1Kings 16:1-33; 1Kings 15:23-24; 2Chronicles 16:11-14; 1Kings 22:41; 2 Chronicles 17:1-18:1; 1 Kings 16:34

Leadership - Good and Bad

Who is it you most admire? Why do you think highly of him/her? Is it because he/she is rich, influential, personable, or a godly servant? How would your image of that person change if he/she chooses to make an unwise compromise that jeopardizes the future of that family or organization? We will find out what can happen from today’s study of the kings of Israel and Judah.

In the continuing account of the kings of Israel and Judah, we see a need for righteousness and integrity in leadership. As the leader goes, so goes the nation, family, church, business or other organization. All the tribes of Jacob’s descendants were God’s covenanted people, not just those who were obedient. God has many disobedient children. Parents, if you feel badly about how your children are turning out, remember that many of God’s children are also disobedient. When the kings ruled during Biblical times, the ten northern tribes of the patriarch Jacob (called Israel or Ephraim) were more disobedient than the two southern tribes of Jacob (called Judah).

For fifteen years King Asa of Judah followed the LORD whole-heartedly and led his people to do the same. Therefore, God blessed him abundantly and gave his kingdom peace. And now, because King Baasha of Israel sought to hem him in and threaten trade relationships with other nations to the north, King Asa does not turn to the LORD for help but makes a treaty with the northern nation of Damascus. He purchases mercenary services from his own palace treasury and with gold from Solomon’s temple, which was devoted to God. The plan worked; King Aram of Damascus attacked Israel, and Baasha withdrew from Judah’s borders, but God was not pleased.

At that time Hanani the seer [prophet] came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” (more…)
Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people, (2Chronicles 16:7-10, NIV).

Nobody wants to be told he is wrong, especially if he has had the reputation of being right and respected by everyone. Asa began well but did not finish well. Even toward the end of Asa's life, the sin of pride still remained.

In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians (2Chronicles 16:12, NIV).

Are you tempted to act in your own self-interest and security? Don’t. Instead, trust the LORD. He strengthens those whose hearts are fully committed to him (2Chronicles 16:9), no matter what their age.

God favors obedient children, but God does not forget about his disobedient children. God sent the prophet Jehu to Baasha, king of Israel:

Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu son of Hanani against Baasha: “I lifted you up from the dust and made you leader of my people Israel, but you walked in the ways of Jeroboam and caused my people Israel to sin and to provoke me to anger by their sins. So I am about to consume Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat. Dogs will eat those belonging to Baasha who die in the city, and the birds of the air will feed on those who die in the country” (1Kings 16:1-4, NIV).

Admittedly, this was a message of judgment, but God cared enough to send a prophet to warn him. If he had repented at that time, Baasha would have received mercy. Instead, he continued on his way and was consumed like Jeroboam.

Following the wicked reign of Baasha, king of Israel, are a series of chaotic reigns and assassinations, and the fulfillment of the prophecy (mentioned above) through the wicked King Zimri. Wickedness produces more wickedness and brings about God’s wrath, not his pleasure. What will be your legacy - righteousness or wickedness?

Fortunately for the nation of Judah, Asa’s son Jehoshaphat followed after the righteous example of his father’s early reign and not the unfaithful example of his latter years. He realized, however, that people in his kingdom had to be re-taught the ways of righteousness if they were to obey.

In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the towns of Judah. With them were certain Levites-- Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah-- and the priests Elishama and Jehoram.They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the LORD; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people (2Chronicles 17:7-9, NIV).

For this commitment, God was pleased and brought peace to the nation and great wealth.

Unfortunately, after Jehoshaphat grew powerful, he made an unwise military alliance with the wicked tribes of Israel under King Ahab (2Chronicles 18:1). This compromise would hurt him and the nation later. We need to be careful in our leadership. What we do now will affect future generations for the good or the bad.

Lessons to live by:

  • As the leader goes, so goes the nation, family, church, business or other organization. We need to be careful in our leadership. What we do now will affect future generations for the good or the bad.
  • Are you tempted to act in your own self-interest and security? Don’t. Trust the LORD (more...) He strengthens those whose hearts are fully committed to Him, no matter what their age.
  • God favors obedient children, but he does not forget about his disobedient children.
  • Wickedness produces more wickedness and brings about God’s wrath, not his pleasure.

Today’s Bible memory verse:

2Chronicles 16:9a “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (NIV)

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

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