Abijam became Judah's king, walked in his father's sins and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God like David. The Lord established Jerusalem because David obeyed God except with Uriah. War continued between Rehoboam and Jeroboam in addition to Abijam and Jeroboam all during his life (1 Kings 15:1-8). God builds up a city when its civic and religious leaders' hearts obey Him.
Asa reigned 41 years in Jerusalem and did right in God's sight like David. He removed male cult prostitutes, idols his fathers made and Maacah his mother who made an Asherah. He did not remove the high places, but Asa's heart was completely devoted to the Lord (1 Kings 15:9-15). Obedient civic and religious leaders remove idols from the land.
Asa and Baasha king of Israel had war all their days. Baasha fortified Ramah so no one could meet with Asa king of Judah. Asa made a treaty with Ben-hadad king of Aram so he would break his treaty with Baasha to force him to withdraw. When Baasha ceased building Ramah, Judah carried away Ramah's stones and timber that were used to build Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah (1 Kings 15:16-24). Obedient civic and religious leaders carry on spiritual warfare through prayer to defeat obstacles and provide resources in building their cities.
Nadab son of Jeroboam became Israel's king and did evil, walked in the way of his father and made Israel sin. Baasha killed Nadab and reigned in his place. He struck down everyone in Jeroboam's household, according to God's word spoken to Ahijah because of Jeroboam's sins. There was war between Asa and Baasha all their days. Baasha did evil, walked in the way of Jeroboam and made Israel sin (1 Kings 15:25-34). God severely judges evil leaders who influence people to sin.
Jehu prophesied God's anger against Baasha while exalted as leader over Israel after he followed Jeroboam's sin. God consumed Baasha's house like Jeroboam where animals would eat their dead bodies. Elah the son of Baasha became king and was killed by his servant Zimri while drunk. Zimri became king and killed all of Baasha's household according to God's word because of their sin, which made Israel sin with their idols (1 Kings 16:1-14). Spiritual men prophesy God's word in confronting idolatry in the community.
Zimri reigned seven days and Israel made Omri, commander of the army, king over Israel. Zimri committed suicide by burning the king's house over him with fire. The people were divided between Omri and Tibni, but Omri prevailed and Tibni died. Omri bought the hill Samaria and named the city, Samaria. He acted more wickedly than all the kings before him (1 Kings 16:15-28). Evil and idolatry in the community grow worse if godly leaders don't act.
Ahab son of Omri did more evil than all before him. He married Jezebel, daughter of the king of the Sidonians. He made the Asherah and erected an altar for Baal that he built in Samaria. He did more to provoke God than all the kings of Israel before him. Hiel built Jericho and laid its foundations with the loss of his first-born and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son according to the God's word spoken to Joshua (1 Kings 16:29-34). Evil leaders disobey God's word and suffer severe consequences to their families.
God severely judges evil leaders who influence people to sin instead of confronting a city's spiritual problem by building a dwelling place for God like David. Use a chiastic structure beginning with the first paragraph: A, B, C, D, C', B' A'. We group together the content in A & A', B & B', etc.:
1. God builds a city when its civic and religious leaders' hearts obey Him, but it suffers consequences when His word is disobeyed
2. Evil and idolatry grow worse if godly leaders don't remove idols from the community
3. Obedient civic and religious leaders prophesy God's word and pray together in unity to confront spiritual problems, defeat obstacles and provide resources in building a dwelling place for God in their cities