Daily D – 1 Kings 16:15
In the twenty-seventh year of Judah’s King Asa, Zimri became king for seven days in Tirzah.
1 KINGS 16:15 (CSB)
Zimri did not know how to win friends and influence people. His life is a textbook example of how to offend everyone as quickly as possible. Zimri was evil.
He shows up in verse 9 where we see that he was a military leader, a commander of half the chariots of King Elah. While King Elah was busy getting drunk, Zimri “went in and struck Elah down, killing him,” (verse 10).
What is the first thing he did when he became king? Check out verse 11. He “struck down the entire house of Baasha. He did not leave a single male, including his kinsmen and friends.”
Zimri desired to lead from a place of power. However, his peers apparently considered him a powerful jerk. When the other military leaders and troops heard what Zimri did, they made the army commander, Omri, king. They then marched up to where Zimri was holding court to capture him.
Zimri saw that this was not going to end well, so he chose his own way out. “When Zimri saw that the city was captured, he entered the citadel of the royal palace and burned it down over himself,” (verse 18). The End.
On the ship of state, there is the captain, the crew, the stowaway, and the pirate. Zimri was a pirate who became a captain. Pirates who become captains not only have to eliminate the former captain and his loyal crew, they also have to consolidate power against other pirates. Zimri settled for getting rid of the former captain and his crew. He wasn’t smart enough or strong enough to get rid of the other pirate.
What lessons can we learn from Zimri? First, don’t be that guy. Second, really, seriously, don’t be that guy.
The books of 1 and 2 Kings teach us how to lead and how not to lead. Zimri is one of the best examples of what not to do. Simply holding a position of leadership does not make a person a leader. Leaders who lead from a place of power and fear are dangerous. Avoid them.
I will learn lessons from leaders of what to do and what not to do.
Our Father, empower us to lead ourselves and others from a place shaped by your wisdom and grace. Deliver us from the temptations of power and fear. Direct us so that we finish well. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.