“He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of Jeroboam…”
1 Kings 15:34
Bassha was a
man with vaunting ambition, not one with great aspirations. He did what he did
to fulfill his dream, not to carry out the vision of the entire country. He was
a tyrant just like Jeroboam before him, and many kings after him.
Evidently Bassha was a man with considerable courage and enormous drive, which seem to be the
necessary ingredients for worldly success. The man knew what he wanted in life,
and had been working toward that goal since his youth, and when the opportunity
presented itself, he took hold of it.
He aspired to
be a king so that he could enjoy all the perks of being one and, as far as the
welfare of the entire country was concerned, he couldn’t have cared less. He
took out Jeroboam, not because the king was doing disservice to Israel; he
merely wanted what Jeroboam possessed - the throne and what surrounded it.
No sooner had
he assumed his kingship, than he started exercising his power, which included
getting himself wives and concubines, and waging wars against Judah, which was
a mere nuisance in his eyes. Power must be exercised, he believed, as most people
with absolute power do, and he cared very little how much people must sacrifice
and how many young lives would perish in the process.
Winston Churchill made a strategic blunder, trying to knock Turkey out by attacking the
Dardanelles from the sea during the First World War and twenty thousand troops,
many from New Zealand and Australia, lost their lives. Did the great general
even consider that the men he was sending to die were someone’s dear sons and
people’s bone become dry in order to make a general’s career (一將功成萬骨枯,)” goes a Chinese saying. Baasha
had obtained his power, and he was determined to do his thing, and the masses
under him would have to suffer the dire consequences of his tyranny.
The way of
Jeroboam was the way of kings for the most part. Baasha and Jeroboam before him
and many more after him were all cut from the same cloth.
It might have
been coincidental, but while the Israelites were slaughtering one another, the
Chinese people were also doing a lot of killing among themselves as well. It
was a chaotic time called “the warring period of China” which ended when
Emperor Chin unified the country by diminishing all his rival nations.
Such was the
way of kings both from the east and the west, which is the way of all flesh and
sin, really. Many lives have perished to make careers for some ambitious men in
human history, yet one great Man died on the cross to bring life for millions
of people. Why are we too blind to see the difference?