1 Kings 16:9-10 (NIV) 9 Zimri, one of his officials, who had command of half his chariots, plotted against him. Elah was in Tirzah at the time, getting drunk in the home of Arza, the man in charge of the palace at Tirzah. 10 Zimri came in, struck him down and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah. Then he succeeded him as king.
On verses 8-14: Elah’s two year reign as king of Israel is cut short when Elah gets drunk and is killed by one of his officials Zimri.
What can we learn from this? “Don’t get drunk on wine,” Paul says in Ephesians 5:18,”but be filled with the Holy Spirit”. Too much alcohol dulls one’s senses, clouds one’s judgment, and makes you vulnerable to attack. In contrast, being filled with the Holy Spirit sharpens your senses, improves your judgment, and equips you to defend yourself against attack.
1 Kings 16:15-20 (NIV) 15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned in Tirzah seven days. The army was encamped near Gibbethon, a Philistine town. 16 When the Israelites in the camp heard that Zimri had plotted against the king and murdered him, they proclaimed Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that very day there in the camp.
On verses 15-20: After murdering King Elah, Zimri assumes the throne as the new king of Israel and proceeds to wipe out the entire house of Elah son of Baasha. This fulfills Jehu’s prophecy in 1 Kings 16:2-4 about how God would make sure that Baasha’s house is destroyed.
However, Zimri’s reign is short-lived, lasting only 7 days. When the Israelite army learns that Zimri had plotted against King Elah and murdered him, they choose Omri, Zimri’s army commander, to be their new king. Omri orders the Israelite army to lay seige to the city where Zimri is staying, the city of Tirzah. When Zimri sees that Omri has taken control of the city, Zimri commits suicide by setting fire to his own palace while still inside.
What can we learn from this? Whenever you hear of someone trying to rebel against God-given authority through murderous or destructive acts and trying to get others to do the same, think twice before following in their footsteps. Any kingdom that is built on sedition will not last.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the practical lessons we can learn from Your Word. May I not get drunk on wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit. And may I not a seditious person, but someone who is known for my integrity, loyalty and trustworthiness. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!