1 Kings 16:15-28

Talks for Growing Christians

Zimri and Omri, Kings of Israel

1 Kings 16:15-28

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Lesson Number 25

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. “Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.”
  2. God’s view of greatness is different than man’s view of greatness.

Practical Application

  1. Expect your position of power to be short-lived if wrongfully gained.
  2. Are you great in God’s eyes?


  1. Who was Zimri? How long did he reign? What did he do?
  2. Who was Omri? What were the circumstances of his reign?
  3. “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Give an example of this from the lesson. Is this applicable today?
  4. Explain the difference between God’s view of greatness and man’s view of greatness.
  5. Explain, “Expect your position of power to be short-lived if wrongfully gained.”


  1. Zimri was a wicked king, the fifth king of the northern kingdom of Israel. He only reigned for seven days. He assassinated King Elah while most of the army was down in Philistine territory besieging the city of Gibbethon. Zimri did not have the support of the military; they sided with General Omri and made him king. When Zimri saw this, he burned the palace down around him rather than being taken alive.
  2. Omri was the sixth king of the northern kingdom of Israel, the father of the notorious King Ahab. When Zimri’s short reign came to a disastrous end, there was civil war in the northern kingdom. Half of the people followed General Omri and half followed Tibni, trying to make him king. Tibni was finally overpowered by Omri. Omri was the beginning of the fourth dynasty in the northern kingdom, and became the most powerful of all the dynasties. After reigning for six years in Tirzah, Omri moved the capital to Samaria, seven miles west. He probably did this for several reasons: it would be a new capital on neutral political grounds, and the hill of Samaria would be more easily defended. Also, Zimri had burned the palace, so he needed a new one.
  3. Zimri quickly reaped what he had sown. Seven days after he committed treason and usurped the throne by assassinating King Elah, he was dead. Yes, we still reap what we sow today.
  4. Omri became a very powerful king, and was able to bring a measure of peace and prosperity to Israel. He is mentioned on the Moabite Stone, dating to the 9th century, B.C., and there are references to him in the ancient Assyrian records, showing that he was known internationally in that day. He was great in the world’s eyes. But God said, “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him” 1 Kings 16:25. Herod was known as Herod the Great in secular history, and his building projects (including the Wailing Wall) stand today, but in the Bible he is known as the king who killed the babies of Bethlehem.
  5. There will be a day of reckoning when power has been wrongfully gained by stepping on others, either in secular or sacred positions. Look at the life of Zimri.


  1. Compare Omri’s epitaph (1 Kings 16:25) with Asa’s epitaph (1 Kings 15:14b). What kind of an epitaph might God write for you?
  2. Write out what you would like to have as your epitaph. How can you live so that this will be true?


  1. “Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” Have you found this to be true in your life? Give specific illustrations.

Key Verses

  • Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord…he made Israel sin, provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols.” 1 Kings 16:25-26
  • “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7

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