Saturday, June 8, 2013

Baasha- Assassination of the King

By Mary Vee
I King 16

From A Servant-Eye Witness to 
The Battle of the Kings in Israel

The palace has been in quite a turmoil of late.  

Life hasn't been good in Israel for a long time. 

When Baasha became king, he wanted everyone to take notice of him. To keep the Israelites focused on their king instead of spending long periods of time worshiping God, he devised different ways for the people to worship. He told  everyone God wouldn't mind.

Men from the tribes of Simeon, Manessah, and Ephraim didn't agree. They moved to Judah, and continued worshiping God and going to the temple in Israel. They did not want to be ruled by a bad king who lead the people away from God's commands.

To make a long story short, Jehu the prophet visited Baasha and gave him a message from the Lord. God said he would punish all of Baasha's family for their sins. Baasha never said he was sorry.

Days after Jehu brought his message, Baasha was assassinated.

Elah, Baasha's son immediately became king. He chose to live in the palace in Tirzah. Elah reigned Israel for two years. He too did a terrible job at ruling the people by not leading them to follow God's commands. One night, when he spent time drinking wine at the house of the man in charge of the palace someone came into the room.

Zimri, a high official in Elah's army sneaked into the room where Elah sat. He struck down Elah and killed him.

Zimri crowned himself king of Israel. He immediately led a full rebellion throughout the land searching for family members of Baasha and killing every male, whether a relative or friend. This brought to pass, God's word spoken against Baasha because the sins he committed and caused Israel to commit. Zimri was not a good king. He also did not lead the people to follow God's commands.

But when the Israelites who had not joined the rebellion heard what Zimri did, they chose Omri to be their king instead of Zimri. Omri and his soldiers attacked Tirzah and the palace where Zimri ruled. 

News reached Zimri reporting the city had been overtaken by Omri and his army. There seemed nothing left for Zimri to do. He feared for his life. Zimri ran to the citadel, his fortress on high ground in the back of the palace. Omri soldiers marching closer stomping throughout the palace looking for Zimri.  

Zimri did not want to die in the hands of Omri or his soldiers. He started a fire in the fortress, setting the whole palace ablaze. And there he died.

The Israelites became divided, some wanting Omri to be their king and others wanting Tibni instead. Omri's army and followers proved stronger than Tibni during a battle to determine the king. Tibni died. Omri became king. He was a bad king because he did not lead the people to follow God's commands.

Let me put this easier for you to understand:
Baasha ruled as king of Israel for 24 years.
Elah, Baasha's son ruled as king of Israel for 2 years
Zimri, an official in the palace ruled as king of Israel for one week
Omri, commander of the army ruled as king of Israel for 12 years. 

I'm glad I am a servant and not a king in Israel!

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photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com

1. What kingdom had the problems talked about in today's post? __________
2. Why was Baasha punished?
3. Why did Zimri become king when he wasn't Baasha's son?
4. Who did Omri fight to win the job as king of Israel?
5. Was Baasha a good king?
6. Was Elah a good king?
7. Was Zimri a good king?
8. Was Omri a good king?
9. What one thing did all of these kings do wrong?

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