Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
1 Kings 15:16-22
2 Chronicles 16:1-10
1 Kings 16:1-7
1 Kings 15:23-24/870 B.C.
2 Chronicles 16:11-14
2 Chronicles 17:1-19
1 Kings 17:1-7
Questions & Observations
Q. (2 Chronicles 16:7-10): So, Asa lost site of who could really help his kingdom? He just got nervous about King Baasha’s influence on Judah and asked an outsider for help? Then, Hanani called him on it and he didn’t want to admit Hanani was right — his pride took over — so he punished Hanani for accusing him of ignoring God?
A. Yes, you’ve got it right. Asa was doing a good job for most of his life, but he ignored God at a crucial moment and then basically “shot the messenger” God sent.
Q. (1 Kings 16:1-7): So, God still considers both Judah and Israel His people? Why was Elah made king when God was infuriated with his father, Baasha?
A. I don’t exactly have an answer. But he certainly didn’t stay king for long, and after that his family was wiped out by a traitor. God can do as He pleases, and in this case as we’ve seen a few times before, the wrath for the father’s sins is poured out on the children.
Q. (1 Kings 16:8-14): So, you could say that God made this happen … or that Baasha had it coming to him and it was revenge.
A. You could argue both. But do note that Baasha got his throne in a very similar manner (by killing Nadab in 15:28), and you could argue that what goes around comes around.
Q. It seems that aspiring to be king was a very dangerous desire. So many of them were killed. Was life viewed differently than as it is today?
A. No, I would say that most of us still have the roughly the same value of life, but the men who participated in these actions valued power and control more. I think trying to separate ourselves from such a world (i.e. we value life so much more than they did) is dangerous thinking. There are places in the world today where the desire for power causes people to kill: some of which are a lot closer to home than we might like to think. As our wise king Solomon noted, there is nothing new under the sun, even the value of human life.
Q. (1 Kings 16:34): This seemed to come out of nowhere. Can you tell us more about Hiel and Jericho and what Joshua predicted long ago about this happening?
A. Sure. In Joshua 6:26, God proclaims that anyone who rebuilt the city with new foundations and a new gate — the mark of a true city in the ancient worl — would pay with the life of his oldest and youngest son. Jericho, which was unlikely to have been uninhabited all those years, but simply not as a walled city, was to stand as a permanent reminder to Israel of what God did to provide the Promised Land to them. He did not take lightly the effort of someone to defy that order. In addition, this is just one more example of the deterioration of the Northern Kingdom, Israel, that will bring about its downfall.
Q. (1 Kings 17:1-7): Elijah is a prophet, right? We’ll see more of him? Should we talk about Elijah now a bit or just wait?
A. Yes and yes. He will become the centerpiece of the next few chapters. In regards to his background, there is literally NOTHING to tell: he comes from nowhere and might as well have appeared out of thin air. So let’s watch what God will do with him in the next few sections. He is certainly memorable!