1 Kings 16:1-14

Prophecy against Baasha

16 Now the word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, “Inasmuch as I exalted you from the dust and made you leader over My people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made My people Israel sin, provoking Me to anger with their sins, behold, I will consume Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Anyone of Baasha who dies in the city the dogs will eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the heavens will eat.”

Now the rest of the acts of Baasha and what he did and his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

The Israelite Kings

And Baasha slept with his fathers and was buried in Tirzah, and Elah his son became king in his place. Moreover, the word of the Lord through the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani also came against Baasha and his household, both because of all the evil which he did in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam, and because he struck [a]it.

In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha became king over Israel at Tirzah, and reigned two years. His servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against him. Now he was at Tirzah drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was over the household at Tirzah. 10 Then Zimri went in and struck him and put him to death in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and became king in his place. 11 It came about when he became king, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he [b]killed all the household of Baasha; he did not leave [c]a single male, neither of his [d]relatives nor of his friends.

12 Thus Zimri destroyed all the household of Baasha, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke against Baasha through Jehu the prophet, 13 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 [e]idols. 14 Now the rest of the acts of Elah and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

I like to think it goes without saying, but nothing good comes out of drunkenness. While most of the Protestant church teaches outright abstention from alcohol, the Bible doesn’t actually teach that. Wine and alcohol had their proper place in ancient times, and could very well in our society too. But like most things, the trouble is when we go overboard and overindulge.

This story reminds me of an earlier king who was so overweight that he couldn’t even move to protect himself, and his fat enveloped the dagger that was his downfall. So whether it is alcohol, food, women, or anything else that God created, we should be careful to guard against overdoing it. That’s not to say you can’t have a good meal, for God gave us food to enjoy certainly. Otherwise, He may just as well have made everything taste like sawdust!

I was listening to a program a while back that talked about vices, and the key seemed to be your focus. When you are thankful and content with what you have, you can give glory to God for it all. But when you lose that, and go “hog wild”, trouble ensues. So just like in everything else, fix your eyes on God, and let Him be your guide. He’s put the Spirit inside you, who will be sure to send up red flags when you’re in the danger zone. Listen for His voice, in everything you do.

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