As soon as he began to reign, [Baasha] killed Jeroboam's whole family. 1 Kings 15:29
Asa was a king in Judah for a long time: 41 years. But meanwhile, in Israel, Baasha killed Nadab and then slaughtered all the descendants of Jeroboam (God had said this would happen--see 1 Kings 14:10-11). Then Elah was king for two years, and then Zimri killed Elah. And as soon as Zimri became king, he "killed off Baasha's whole family" (as God had also predicted). But Zimri lasted only seven days before burning his own palace down around himself. He was afraid of Omri, commander of Israel's army, who had overtaken the capital. So Omri ended up as king.
Pretty depressing, isn't it? It's like watching the morning news. But let's never forget that God still rules, even in such a gruesome process. God punishes evildoers and brings judgment on their own heads for their sins. He brings confusion over evil people so that they bring their due punishment upon each other. And while all this is going on, God helps his people survive and serve him, often behind the scenes and undercover from the colossal warfare of this world.
If God can handle those bloodthirsty kings, he can handle the nations and their powers today. Bloodshed and evil still persist, and believers can still suffer. But our faith tells us that God is working and has not abandoned his world or his people.
Father, forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For yours is the power and the glory forever. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!