“Thus Zimri destroyed all the household of Baasha, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke against Baasha through Jehu the prophet, for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, which they sinned and which they made Israel sin, provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols.” 1 Kings 16:12-13, NASB.
These chapter in this book may be some of the bloodiest in all of Scripture. The detail widespread judgment and destruction in summary form giving both cause and effect for the judgment.
In Israel, the northern kingdom, the kings were particularly wicked (as juxtaposed against Asa king of Judah in the South). They not only embraced idolatry but promoted it among God’s people through implication and edict. They named the “Lord God of Israel” as their own but worshipped as the inhabitants of the land that God had given them.
In the verses above, God wiped out a king and all his family because of their sin. Their sin! I know it sounds incredible…since many of us embrace a picture of “hippie Jesus” who eats granola, preaches peace, and lets people choose their own course without consequence; however, the Scripture portrays God far more accurately.
God hates sin and judges sinners. Not just everyone elses sins…and not just the “big” sins…but our sins and every sin. He hates sin. He has no tolerance for it and the only way a righteous and holy God can deal with sin is to destroy it utterly.
A couple of quick reflections:
- God is the author of this destruction of Baasha and his household because of his unrepentant idolatry and wickedness before the Lord. God is a righteous judge.
- Baasha knew judgment was coming because He knew the instructions of God, the Law of God and the prophesy of God…yet he refused to repent.
- God executed justice swiftly but not immediately. Time lapsed from the prophesy to the judgment, but once judgment started, it was overwhelming.
- God is still the Lord God of Israel even though their king sinned and the people sinned and idolatry was rampant.
The parallels are incredible in my mind. God loves us, is patient with us, desires our repentance…but is also righteous and holy and a swift executor of judgment against our sin. We should and even MUST view ourselves, our culture, and our sin as “seriously as God.” Only then can we experience the redemptive mercy fo God. If not, we will experience only His judgment…for He is a righteous judge.