The good news is that Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah is following the commands of the Lord and he is prospering. Yay, Jo-phat!
The bad news is that Israel isn’t doing quite so well. Civil war, unrest and idolatry are the highlights of 1 Kings 16. The lowest point is when Ahab, the new king brought to the throne after much bloodshed and even a fire, decides to marry Jezebel and to worship Baal openly. What I’ve learned is that Ba’al means “master” or “lord” and in the Hebrew Scriptures, often refers to a “false god.”
Ahab chose to get another master and for that, he is in direct contention with God.
30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him.
(Spoiler Alert: he does not meet with a good end. But that’s not for today’s reading.)
Today’s take-away is simple: put God first, blessings follow. They might not be tangible, they might not even be in this world, but blessings always follow obedience. Defy God, heart ache and pain will follow. It doesn’t happen because God makes it happen, it happens because He was trying to help you avoid it and you chose to go the other way. Yeah, Ahab, I’m talking to you.