When Baasha turned against God, it brought about his own death and loss of the kingdom. It didn’t just affect, him. His, Elah, son learned bad habits, rebelled against God, and lost the kingdom after reigning only two years. But it didn’t just affect them.
Zimri immediately killed the entire royal family of Baasha, leaving him not even a single male child. He even destroyed distant relatives and friends. So Zimri destroyed the dynasty of Baasha as the LORD had promised through the prophet Jehu. This happened because of all the sins Baasha and his son Elah had committed, and because of the sins they led Israel to commit. They provoked the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, with their worthless idols. (1 Kings 16:11-13 NLT)
Their whole family paid the price for their sin. If only it would have stopped with their family. But it didn’t.
Zimri began to rule over Israel in the twenty-seventh year of King Asa's reign in Judah, but his reign in Tirzah lasted only seven days. The army of Israel was then attacking the Philistine town of Gibbethon. When they heard that Zimri had committed treason and had assassinated the king, that very day they chose Omri, commander of the army, as the new king of Israel. So Omri led the entire army of Israel up from Gibbethon to attack Tirzah, Israel's capital. When Zimri saw that the city had been taken, he went into the citadel of the palace and burned it down over himself and died in the flames. For he, too, had done what was evil in the LORD's sight. He followed the example of Jeroboam in all the sins he had committed and led Israel to commit. (1 Kings 16:15-19 NLT)
Evil begets evil. Zimri followed in their pattern just like they followed in the pattern of Jeroboam. Each one affected the next and all of them led the northern tribes of Israel to do the same. All the evil that they did affected other people around them. The same is true for us today.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
(Romans 12:21 NIV)
When we do evil, we influence others to do evil as well. But we don’t have to follow the patterns passed down to us or surrounding us. We can break the pattern. We can effect positive change. We can decide to stop hitting ourselves and help others to stop hitting themselves, too. We can choose to overcome evil with good.
How about you? Do you see patterns around you where evil begets more evil? Have you been a part of that process? Are you still a part of that process today? Are you ready to break the negative cycle? Are you ready to stop hitting yourself? Are you ready to stop hurting yourself, your children, and others?