The kings who reigned in Israel while Asa was reigning in Judah all walked in the way of Jeroboam, so none of them worshiped or served the LORD. Even though they did not acknowledge Him as their God, God still used them to accomplish His word in cutting off the previous evil kings who reigned before them.
Asa, king of Judah began his reign while Jeroboam, king of Israel was still reigning. During Asa’s reign, seven evil kings reigned in Israel:
Jeroboam, Israel’s first king, reigned 22 years;
Nadab, son of Jeroboam, reigned 2 years;
Baasha, son of Ahijah, overthrew the house of Jeroboam and reigned 24 years;
Elah, son of Baasha, reigned 2 years;
Zimri overthrew the house of Baasha and reigned 7 days;
Omri overthrew Zimri and reigned 12 years;
Ahab, son of Omri, reigned 22 years.
None of these kings, who walked in the way of Jeroboam, and were strengthened to walk in even more evil than Jeroboam, saw the prosperity and blessing of peace which rested on their sister kingdom Judah, because of the perfect heart of Asa, and took it to heart. None of them realized that in the length of time that seven kings ruled in Israel, which promoted instability and chaos, just one king ruled in Judah, which promoted stability and prosperity. None of them took it to heart, that while the house of David continued, because David’s heart was perfect before the LORD his God, none of their houses continued because their hearts were evil.
The kings of Israel turned from the LORD and His way, and that made them foolish. That foolishness infected every decision they made as king. Moreover, they were completely blinded as well, to the obvious facts which are staring us in the face. It is not just that they rebelled against the LORD, but could still see the good way to walk in it if they so chose; they stopped being able to see altogether that there was another choice. They were not able to see, even, the consequences of their own decisions and actions, so as to learn from them.
Also which comes out from today’s reading, is the power of a godly man in leaving a godly heritage of righteousness for his children to follow him in, and the power of an ungodly man in leaving an ungodly heritage of evil for all who would come after him, to walk in.