Abijam ruled in Judah, and “his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father” (15:3). Then, Asa reigned in Judah, and he “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as David his father had done” (15:11); however, “the high places were not taken away” (15:14). In the north, Nadab ruled but was soon killed by Baasha, who set himself up as king and slaughtered the entire family of Jeroboam, the first king in the north. From there, things went further downhill in the north with political assassinations and different families on the throne. Quickly, it was Elah, Zimri, Omri before Ahab came to the throne in the time of the prophet Elijah.
So much happened under Ahab with the prophet Elijah playing a great role. More on Elijah, later, but the downward spiral of the northern kingdom provides a powerful warning about the slippery slope of turning away from God. Once started, it is so, so difficult to arrest that slide. Rightly, the writer of Hebrews, thinking back to the Hebrews, cautions, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end” (Hebrews 3:12-14). May the words of Joseph Hart (18th century), as he depicts the sinner saved by grace, rightly describe us.
Tho' thousand Snares enclose his Feet,
Not one shall hold him fast;
Whatever Dangers he may meet,
He shall get safe at last.