The prophet, Ahijah, had foretold the end of Jeroboam’s dynasty (1Ki. 14:10-13). It happened through Baasha, who killed King Nadab to become king himself (1Ki. 15:25-30). So, God sent a prophet, Jehu, to foretell the end of King Baasha’s dynasty (1Ki. 16:1-4,6,8-13).
I. Zimri Kills His King… 1Kings 16:10-13
Zimri, one of King Baasha’s chariot commanders, killed Elah at Tirzah… and took his place as king. Then he killed Baasha’s descendants, thus fulfilling Jehu’s prophecy.
II. Zimri Kills Himself… 1Kings 16:15-20
After a reign of only 7 days, Zimri was overthrown! His army elected Omri, another military commander, as king… and, with their support, laid siege to Tirzah. Seeing no way out, Zimri set fire to the palace and committed suicide.
Zimri had the shortest reign in Jewish history – for either the N. Kingdom or the S. Kingdom; 7 days.
But, he also – in that short week – managed to serve as an instrument in bringing God’s judgment on his predecessors… not that he was aware of his part in God’s plan. Zimri was not the first or last ungodly ruler God sued to achieve His divine purposes.
LifeAPP: It is possible to be part of God’s plan without being in on God’s plans!
In Zimri’s case, his part was to bring Baasha’s dynasty to its knees. Zimri’s actions were divine punishment for Baasha’s wickedness. But, Zimri was no improvement on Baasha or Elah… so God brought about Zimri’s downfall, too.
LifeAPP: God’s standards apply to us the same as they do for everyone else.
Zimri had managed to exterminate Baasha’s family, but he did not rid the nation of all of Baasha’s supporters. One of these supporters was the military commander, Omri… whose troops proclaimed him as king instead. With that, Omri stormed the palace. Zimri, knowing he was defeated, committed suicide… just 7 days into his reign.
The name “Zimri” became a byword for a traitor who murdered his master. When Jehu led a bloody military revolt to seize the throne of Israel, killed both Jehoram, king of Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah… and when he entered the citadel of Jezreel to execute Queen Jezebel, she greeted him with these words: “Is it peace, Zimri, you murderer of your master?”. See 1Kings 9:31.
LifeAPP: Zimri’s legacy was similar to that of Benedict Arnold’s. Surely you want better for yourself?
You can read Zimri’s story in 1Kings 16:10-20.