But now the people of Israel were split into two factions. Half the people tried to make Tibni son of Ginath their king, while the other half supported Omri. But Omri's supporters defeated the supporters of Tibni. So Tibni was killed, and Omri became the next king.
(1 Kings 16:21-22 NLT)
This week was difficult for me to prepare and to teach. Often times there is a “negative” or “warning” portion of a set of Scriptures that we cover. The flip side of the coin (hope, redemption, love), however, is usually there as well. This week, though, we have noting but kings following bad examples and leading the people of Israel into worse and worse situations.
Omri began to rule over Israel in the thirty-first year of King Asa's reign in Judah. He reigned twelve years in all, six of them in Tirzah. Then Omri bought the hill now known as Samaria from its owner, Shemer, for 150 pounds of silver. He built a city on it and called the city Samaria in honor of Shemer.
(1 Kings 16:23-24 NLT)
Even Omri begins to set up a new headquarters for the northern tribes: Samaria. Samaria will be the new center for political power in the north. Later, it will become the religious (worship) center as well. How does Omri name the town? He honor’s the guy who owned the land, when he could honor the God who created the land. Omri doesn’t walk together with God.
But Omri did what was evil in the LORD's sight, even more than any of the kings before him. He followed the example of Jeroboam son of Nebat in all the sins he had committed and led Israel to commit. The people provoked the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, with their worthless idols. (1 Kings 16:25-26 NLT)
More than that, Omri led the rest of the northern tribes (Israel) to walk away from God as well. His legacy would be the town of Samaria and the fact that he “did what was evil in the LORD’s sigtht, even more than any of the kings before him.”
How about you? Do you have negative trends that have come before you? Do you continue to follow those negative trends and pass them down from generation to generation? Or, will you turn things around and begin to honor God? Will you honor God before it’s too late?