Five Bad Neighbours
29 March 2020 PM – 1 Kings 15:25-16:28 – Kings20 – Scott Childs

Introduction: Last week we studied good King Asa. During his 41 years as king of Judah, seven kings reigned in northern Israel. He began reigning at the very end of Jeroboam’s reign and died at the very beginning of Ahab’s reign. However, between Jeroboam and Ahab, five kings reigned whom I call Asa’s five bad neighbours. Those five bad neighbours had an influence on Asa’s life. They may have had a part in him turning away from the Lord during his last six years as king.

Neighbours (or those close to us) have a great influence on our lives so we must be on guard.

Transition: This evening, I want us to see what God wants to teach us from Asa’s five bad neighbours.

1.        We Must Listen to their History

a.         Nadab (son of Jeroboam) (1Ki 15:25-27)
1)         Began in the 2nd year of Asa.
2)         Reigned 2 years (portions of 2 years)
3)         He did evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the ways of his father Jeroboam.
4)         While Nadab was besieging the Philistine time of Gibbethon Baasha killed Nadab.
b.         Baasha (new dynasty)
1)         Began in the 3rd year of Asa.
2)         After killing Nadab, he also killed his entire family. This fulfilled Ahijah’s prophecy (1Ki 14:7-10).
3)         Reigned 24 years, doing evil in the sight of the Lord. He continued in the golden calf sins of Jeroboam (1Ki 15:34).
4)         During his entire reign, he fought with King Asa down in Judah (1Ki 15:16).
5)         Because of his evil ways, God sent the prophet Jehu to tell him of God’s coming judgment (1Ki 16:1-4, 7).
6)         Baasha died (1Ki 16:5-6).
c.          Elah (son of Baasha)
1)         Began in the 26th year of Asa (1Ki 16:8).
2)         Reigned part of 2 years.
3)         Zimri, captain of half of his chariots, killed him while he was drinking himself drunk (1Ki 16:9-10).
4)         He was partying while the nation was at war with the Philistines (1Ki 16:16). What a poor example.
d.         Zimri (new dynasty)
1)         Zimri’s destroyed all of the Baasha family (1Ki 16:11).
2)         This fulfilled God’s word spoken by Jehu (1Ki 16:1-4).
3)         He began his reign in the 27th year of Asa.
4)         He reigned only 7 days, walking in the ways of Jeroboam (1Ki 16:19).
5)         When the soldiers heard that Zimri killed King Elah and made himself king, the people made Omri, the captain of the army, to be their king (1Ki 16:16).
6)         Omri and the soldiers left Gibbethon and besieged Tirzah where Zimri was living. When Zimri saw this, he set the palace on fire and killed himself in it.
e.         Omri (new dynasty)
1)         The people divided. Half chose Omri to be their king and half chose Tibni to be their king. After four years of civil war, Tibni was killed and Omri reigned (1Ki 16:21-22).
2)         Omri became king in the 31st year of Asa.
3)         He reigned 12 years.
4)         He moved the nation’s capital to Samaria (1Ki 16:24).
5)         Omri was evil and did worse than all those before him (1Ki 16:25).
6)         He walked in the ways of Jeroboam and provoked the Lord to anger with his vanities (1Ki 16:26).
7)         When Omri died, Ahab his son took the throne (1Ki 16:28).
2.        We Must Learn from their Sins
I find here five principles in the lives of Asa’s five bad neighbours from which we can learn valuable lessons for our own lives.

a.         Parents pass character to their children.
1)         Character may be good or bad. The dictionary defines character as, “The inherent complex of attributes that determines a person’s moral and ethical actions and reactions.”
2)         Last week we learned that Asa had a bad father but he became a good king. He was the exception not the rule. Praise God, we too can be an exception.
3)         Jeroboam was evil and his son was evil. Baasha was evil and his son was evil. Omri was evil and his son was evil. One man put it this way, “Just as water by nature runs downhill, so it is easier and more natural to set a bad example than a good one.”
4)         Picture it this way. Your child’s heart is like a whiteboard. Many of the things you seek to teach him are written on his heart with an erasable pen. You must rewrite it many times. However, the character he sees in your daily life (good or bad) is written on his heart with a permanent marker. As an old adage states, “Our walk talks and our talk talks, but our walk talks louder than our talk talks.”
5)         What does this teach us parents? If our attitudes and actions please the Lord, our words of instruction will have a greater impact in the lives of our children.
b.         There will be payday someday.
1)         God does not let his people get away with sin because He loves them (Heb 12:5-8).
2)         Many of these kings came to an unpleasant end because of their sins.
3)         God’s principle of sowing and reaping is always true. (Galatians 6:7) “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” You will reap what you sow. You will reap more than you sow. You will reap sometime after you sow.
c.          God always keeps His promises.
1)         Ahijah told Jeroboam that God was going to wipe out his family because of his sins. Jehu told Baasha that God was going to wipe out his family because of his sins.
2)         God kept both of these promises.
3)         Every promise that God fulfilled in the Bible is a reassurance to us that the promises He gives us will certainly come to pass. Here are three to get us thinking.
a)         (Acts 16:31) “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
b)         (Philippians 4:6-7) “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
c)         (1 Corinthians 15:51) “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,” (See also 1Th 4:16-17) There are many more!
d.         Alcohol is a curse we must avoid.
1)         Elah died because he got drunk (1Ki 16:9).
2)         Alcohol is a terrible curse to our society. It wastes money needed by families. It causes people to be hurtful. It causes people to say things they regret. It promotes immorality. It is a social curse.
3)         Solomon wrote, (Proverbs 20:1) “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
4)         The argument that Jesus turned water to alcohol is false. It is totally against God’s character to create alcohol that could blur the senses, lose the tongue, increase violence, promote loss of self-control, and contradict Scriptures like Pr 20:1. No, Jesus created the best grape juice of the day.
e.         Left unchecked, evil increases with time.
1)         Each new king in Israel plunged further into sin.
2)         Jeroboam led the nation into calf-worship from which they never recovered. By the time we reach Omri, he did worse than all that were before him (1Ki 16:25).
3)         When we do wrong, we must quickly confess and forsake it to prevent a downward cycle beginning. (Proverbs 28:13) “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
Conclusion: We must be careful not to allow neighbours (those close to us) to lead us astray. Ponder the principles above and let them direct you in the way God wants you to go. If God has pricked your heart about a need for change, let Him have His way.