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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Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand. (CSB)
Isaiah 38:2, 3 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD. He said, “Please, LORD, remember how I have walked before you faithfully and wholeheartedly, and have done what pleases you.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. (CSB)
Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the LORD is a just God. All who wait patiently for him are happy. (CSB)