He (Baasha) did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit. 1 Kings 15:34
Baasha killed Nadab, Jeroboam’s son who only ruled Israel for two years. He also killed the rest of Jeroboam’s family. We’re told this happened because of the evil Jeroboam perpetuated in Israel (15:30). Baasha had the opportunity to lead the people to return to the Mosaic covenant and to previous happy times (1 Kings 4:20). But he didn’t. Instead, he committed the same sin and unsurprisingly it brought the same result (16:3).
It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. This is true of Baasha. He lived under Jeroboam’s kingship and saw the outcome of his life and yet Baasha persisted in following Jeroboam’s sinful ways.
God has graciously given us many role models, through the Bible and in life. Some are great examples of how to live a godly life. At other times God allows people to come into our lives who are less than ideal. We’re wise if we can learn from both good and poor role models.
Sometimes, poor role models are the most instructive as we tend to take good role models for granted. Good role models make wise decisions and reap good outcomes, but when we see unwise decisions being made and the resulting outcomes, it’s important we also apply these lessons to our lives. It’s easy to dismiss bad outcomes on unfortunate circumstances without considering if poor decision making has played a part.
Eleanor Roosevelt wisely said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”