Baasha takes the throne in Israel. He took it by force from Nadab and killed everyone who remained of Jeroboam’s house. He will be called to account for this.
Nadab was doomed to failure before he even took the throne. Because of the prophet Ahijah’s words to Jeroboam, we knew Jeroboam’s male heirs would all die. No one, except God, knew the timeline though. I wonder what it was that prompted Baasha into action. Was he biding his time until he saw an opening or did something big happen that moved him from friend to foe? Was he told earlier in his life by a prophet that he would rule Israel? We aren’t told any of the backstory.
What we do know is that when Baasha took over the throne, he killed ALL of Jeroboam’s house. We are told that “He left to the house of Jeroboam not one that breathed” (verse 29). I’m assuming this meant women and children too, not just the men. Ahijah’s prophecy from God called for the men to be left where they fell. This would probably include ALL male children but it didn’t mention the women or girls at all. It looks like Baasha went overboard on fulfilling prophecy.
Baasha didn’t take over the throne in order to bring about some big reform, spiritually or politically. He was more than happy to continue leading the northern kingdom of Israel into idol worship. “He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel to sin” (verse 34).
God gave Baasha a chance to effect change in Israel. He said as much through the prophet Jehu. God is also the one who chose Baasha to be the leader of His people. “Since I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over My people Israel…” (verse 2a; emphasis added by me). Baasha squandered that chance by engaging in the same sins as Jeroboam. And this made God angry. Since Baasha wanted to be like Jeroboam, God would see that he carries the same judgment as Jeroboam.
I want to step back for a moment and look at the last highlighted words, “My people.” These words thrill my heart! Even with all Israel was doing, God STILL called them His own. He didn’t abandon them. He loved them and longed for them to return to Him. He knew their hearts and where their hearts would take them but He NEVER gave up on them! Even when He had to discipline them they were STILL His.
That gives me GREAT hope and comfort. I can’t run so far that He can’t reach me or will abandon me. And neither can you!
Ok, back to our story. We are given little in the way of actual acts Baasha did while he ruled Israel in our text today. In 2 Chronicles 16 we see his name associated with an event that deeply impacts both halves of the kingdom. I’m having trouble aligning the timelines of both kings mentioned in this event. I have reached out to GotQuestions.org for help. I will post a link to their answer when I receive it. In the meantime, I’m going to leave the story in 2 Chronicles 16 for when we get there. I’ll give you a hint on what my issue is, if you want to do a little research or have an answer for me; it has to do with the years of Baasha’s reign and their corresponding time in Asa’s reign.
Father God, thank You for first reminding me of how much You love me and how far You will go to bring me back to You. You NEVER abandon me no matter how bad I am. That doesn’t give me license to sin but hope that You are there to wash me clean every time I turn back to You.
On the second part where I ‘got stuck’ trying to reconcile parts of Your word, I KNOW that ALL scripture is God breathed and useful for my teaching and edification. I do NOT believe You made or allowed errors to stand in Your word. But I can’t reconcile the two dates. This DOES NOT kill my faith in You. If anything, it makes me lean heavier on Your understanding. I need answers Father for my childlike soul. Please help me here. I trust You to work it all out, even if I don’t see it worked out until we sit down together and You show it to me. Keep me trusting and leaning on You.
Your child awaits Your answers and plays happily in Your presence for life.