There is a new king in Israel again. He is Elah, the son of Baasha and he won’t be on the throne long because of the prophecy.
Baasha angered God on two fronts. The first, and most important, was that he continued the practices of Jeroboam; that of worshiping idols and turning away from God. The second was the execution of ALL Jeroboam’s house. God told Jeroboam’s wife that every male would fall and not be buried. But He didn’t include the females in His prophecy. Yet when we look at Baasha’s actions right after taking the throne by force we read that “He left to the house of Jeroboam not one that breathed, until he had destroyed it” (1 Kings 15:29b). God laid this bloodguilt at Baasha’s feet. “Moreover the word of the Lord came by the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha and his house, both because of all the evil that he did in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam, and also because he destroyed it” (verse 7).
This meant his son Elah was pretty much toast when it came to being king. Elah was Baasha’s son and subject to the prophecy. When thinking about this I felt sorry for him, thinking that he didn’t stand a chance but that’s not true. Jeroboam’s son Abijah found favor in the eyes of the Lord and he escaped the fate of the prophecy of Jeroboam’s house. Abijah didn’t live to see the prophecy fulfilled. But if Elah had found favor in the eyes of the Lord I’m pretty certain God would have made special arrangements for him too. So this tells me that Elah was no better than his father.
The act of Elah’s that set him up for trouble was “drinking himself drunk” (verse 9b). This probably wasn’t an uncommon occurrence with him. His commander Zimri knew of his habits and where he was likely to engage in them. Elah’s predictability in this sin made Zimri’s conspiracy easy.
I’m not ‘preaching’ about the evils of alcohol. I will leave that between you and God. Solomon tells us in Proverbs 31:4-7 though that wine and strong drink have their place and it is NOT in the palace. Personally, I will take life’s problems head on instead of numbing them with drink. They are easier to tackle when you can see them clearly.
I got sidetracked. Back to our story. Like Nadab, Elah doesn’t get much ‘ink’ in our reading. His replacement Zimri gets the attention. We see that he reigned for two years but we don’t have a record of his other acts. They are, again, in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.
We know that Elah was the first of Baasha’s house to die by Zimri’s hand but not the last. This time Zimri confines his executions to the male members of Baasha’s house AND Baasha’s friends. It didn’t pay to be a friend of the king in this instance. We will see later that Zimri didn’t have this bloodguilt laid at his feet. I wonder if this is because he stopped with the males. Another question to add to my list.
Father God, You keep Your promises, both the good ones and the hard ones. You also take each person into account. I KNOW You forgive my sins and bring me back into right relationship with You but PLEASE don’t let me get dragged off track to begin with. Help me resist temptations that come my way; even the ones I’m ‘famous’ for falling for.