Omri and Ahab in Israel (1 Kings 16:21 – 34)

After Zimri’s ouster, the people of Israel were torn between Tibni and Omri as king.  Omri prevailed and Tibni died.  Omri reigned 12 years, the first six in Tirzah.  After six years, he bought Samaria and built on the hill.  This began the connection of Israel with Samaria that lasted numerous years.  Omri walked in the ways of Jeroboam and did evil in the sight of God.  Once he died, Ahab reigned in his place.

In the thirty-eighth year of Asa’s reign (a righteous, long-serving king), Ahab took over the throne of Israel in Samaria and reigned twenty-two years.  Ahab behaved more wickedly than any other king before him.  He took Jezebel, daughter of the Sidonian king, as a wife.  He served Baal, and set up an altar and built a temple for Baal.  He made a wooden image (possibly and Asherah pole).  He did more to provoke the Lord to anger than all the kings of Israel before him.  In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho.  As per prior prophecy, he laid the foundation with Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates with his youngest son Segub, as Joshua had declared.

Omri served twelve years and his son Ahab took over his reign.  Ahab was especially evil, powerfully decadent.  He aroused the Lord’s anger, and–as we will see in the next chapter–was confronted by the prophets of God.  His reign was longer than other evil kings, but we will see that God did not let him get by with his evil actions.  Be sure that God will not be mocked by ungodly leaders that rule in the name of the Lord, but rather worshiped and lived for other gods.  Do not live a double life.  Be true and be what God intends, not what your appetites and lusts dictate.  Be who you claim you are!

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