Devotion: 1 Kings 16:15-20Seven days is not a terribly long time. I currently have multiple condiments in my fridge that are much older than seven days. Seven days is the reign of Zimri after his rebellion and assassination of Elah, son of Baasha. Zimri is a textbook illustration of reaping what one sows (see Galatians 6:6-10).
"In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days in Tirzah. Now the troops were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, and the troops who were encamped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired, and he has killed the king.” Therefore all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp. So Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah. And when Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king's house and burned the king's house over him with fire and died, because of his sins that he committed, doing evil in the sight of the Lord, walking in the way of Jeroboam, and for his sin which he committed, making Israel to sin. Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and the conspiracy that he made, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?" -1 Kings 16:15-20 ESVFollowing Zimri's rebellion, the troops fighting against the Philistines (the cover for Zimri's coup) hear about his treachery and decide, under the leadership of General Omri to strike back against the rebel. Omri, taking charge, is not only to lead the counter-insurgency, but if successful, is to become king of Israel.
Omri leads the troops to Tirzah and takes the city. Zimri, knowing his goose is cooked, commits suicide by burning down the king's palace with him inside. In seven short days he goes from king to dead, yet even in that short span he continued idolatry and perpetuated injustice. Zimri met a bitter end following his plot.
Zimri can teach us a few brief lessons.
- Violence begets violence. Jesus himself said to Peter when struck the servant of the high priest in defense of Jesus, "Put your sword back in its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword." (Matthew 26:52). Zimri's treachery and rebellion was doomed because of the violent way he perpetrated his offense.
- While Elah was a wicked king, Zimri acted without authorization, direction and leave from the Lord. Zimri acted out of naked ambition for his own benefit, seizing an opportunity as it presented itself. God's will was never considered.
- Zimri did not have a clear strategy. While he struck down Elah and took the throne, he had no strategy for holding the throne. This is short-term thinking at its worst. Doing something in the moment without thought to the long-term consequence and/or strategy is sure method of increasing misery, pain and trouble.
News for You:
- Visit our booth at the Okanogan County Fair!
- We are still on the hunt for Small Group Leaders for our Fall series in Romans. If you are interested, e-mail Pastor Bill.
- Sunday School will kick off our next series in the Westminster Confession of Faith beginning September 16 at 9 a.m. Sunday School Remix will resume September 18 at 1 p.m. in the library at CPC.