Reading through the Bible together

Sunday, February 17, 2013

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We have an interesting series of events in this last chapter before Elijah comes on the scene of action as one of the great prophets of Israel.

First, the Lord called the prophet Jehu to deliver a message against Baasha. Jehu had a powerful warning for this young king who had come from humble beginnings and become the king!  Baasha had been instrumental in wiping out the house of Jeroboam and now he was getting paid for his murderous actions. It seems like men never learn and repent from their evil doings. God could have been merciful to him but he had followed another course.  When he died, his son Elah reigned in his place.


 

Secondly, we find a conspiracy!  Elah, son of Baasha reigned for about 2 years when Zimri, one of the chiefs in the army lifted up his hand against Elah and while he was dunk, killed him. The protection that he should have given to the king was part of his ambition and thirst for power! He knew the weakness of the king, his evil and his drunken actions, so this was the time to kill him!  He went even further by killing the whole house of Baasha.  Elah and Baasha his father had committed evil and were destroyed by evil.  Zimri's conspiracy and violence did not last long.  He was the king for only 7 days in Tirzah.  When the people heard of his actions, they elected Omri as the King of Israel. Omri and the people of Israel encircled the city, and when Zimri realized that the city was taken he went into the king's house, set it in fire and killed himself.  Deceit and power does not last long!

 

The  next evil move was made by Omri himself. The people of Israel were divided in two parties following two kings, one group was for Tibni and one for Omri. Omri's group prevailed and we don't know what happened to Tibni or how he died. As far as the values of the world are concerned, Omri was a  good king.  He  brought  prosperity to the nation and even founded another capital in the Hill of Samaria.  But as far as wickedness is concerned, he did worse than all the kings before him.  He was the one who brought in the worship of the god Baal, and his son Ahab married Jezebel, daughter of the High Priest of Baal.  This became the worse time of apostasy and idolatry in the history of Israel and brought Elijah into the picture.  It was through a prophet such as Elijah that God took action.

 

Leo Ranzolin
Retired GC Vice-President