top of page



Made Easy


Elah is not a very well-known person in the Bible.  However, he was a king that demonstrates to us not to let drunkenness become a part of our character.  Drunkenness is a danger to all people for spiritual and physical reasons.  As you will see from Elah, drunkenness takes away your good senses and opens one up to many dangers.
    The book of 1 Kings reveals Elah’s story to us.  1 Kings 16:8-14 reads as follows, according to the New King James Version:

8 In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha became king over Israel, and reigned two years in Tirzah. 9 Now his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against him as he was in Tirzah drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, steward of his house in Tirzah. 10 And Zimri went in and struck him and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place. 11 Then it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he was seated on his throne, that he killed all the household of Baasha; he did not leave him one male, neither of his relatives nor of his friends. 12 Thus Zimri destroyed all the household of Baasha, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke against Baasha by Jehu the prophet, 13 for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, by which they had sinned and by which they had made Israel sin, in provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols. 14 Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

    As you can see, Elah was the king over the Northern Kingdom of Israel.  He was the son of Baasha.  It is important to notice that he was king only two years.  This is because wicked living cut his life short (1 Kings 16:8).
    The Bible tells us how Elah died so quickly.  It says that one of his officials, Zimri, plotted to have him killed.  Zimri waited for the opportune time to kill Elah.  He waited until the king was drunk.  While drunken, the king was assassinated (1 Kings 16:9-10).  Soon after, Zimri made himself king and killed all of Elah’s family members as well (1 Kings 16:11-12).
    Why did God allow Elah to be killed?  It was punishment for the sins of Elah’s father, Baasha, and Elah’s own sins.  Both Baasha and Elah were idol worshippers and their influence caused everyone under their leadership to become idol worshippers too.  Thus, God removed Baasha’s family from ruling over Israel (1 Kings 16:12-14).
Although we know Elah was killed because of his idolatrous ways, our focus in this lesson will be on his vulnerability due to drunkenness.  First, drunkenness is a sin in the sight of God (1 Corinthians 6:8-10).  Thus, when we are drunk, we are betraying the Lord who told us not to do it in the first place.  Remember, as a Christian, we are at war with our own selfishness.  When we truly love God, we will obey Him (1 John 5:3).  Thus, our love for God should prevent us from being drunk in the first place.
Second, drunkenness creates vulnerability within us that puts us in harm’s way as it did to Elah.  Elah’s assassin, Zimri, waited until a moment of weakness was in Elah to kill him.  The same is true today when it comes to drunkenness.  It creates a huge moment of weakness where we are not capable of spiritually protecting ourselves and in some cases, we can jeopardize our earthly lives as well.  
Let’s look at some of the things that can go wrong when someone is drunk.  The Bible says the following:

•    “He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich” Proverbs 21:17 New American Standard 1995 Version). 
•    “29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30 Those who linger long over wine, Those who go to taste mixed wine. 31 Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes  down smoothly; 32 At the last it bites like a serpent And stings like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange things And your mind will utter perverse things. 34 And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea, Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast. "They struck me, but I did not become ill; They beat me, but I did not know it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink" (Proverbs 23:20, 21, 29-35 New American Standard 1995 Version).
•    “14 The LORD has mixed within her a spirit of distortion; They have led Egypt astray in all that it does, As a drunken man staggers in his vomit” (Isaiah 19:14 New American Standard 1995 Version).

As you can see, it is not worth getting drunk, because addiction can cause:

•    Poverty
•    Sorrow 
•    Bumps and bruises from drunken altercations with others
•    Dangerous distortion of one’s sense of reality
•    Loss of the control of one’s tongue
•    Dangerous actions that make no sense
•    Vomit

Many people have lost their lives due to drunken brawls.  They have gone to prison, because of disorderly conduct due to intoxication or drunk driving.  They have lost many friends because they have said shameful, hurtful things under the influence of alcohol.  They have even lost their lives because the alcohol has caused them to take certain risks with their lives they probably would have not done if they were sober.   In addition, young women have been taken advantage of against their will when they have been intoxicated.  
In summary, let the things you learned today serve as a stern warning against drunkenness!  The risk is not worth the reward.  In fact, there is no reward.  Drunkenness causes one to lose more than he or she has ever anticipated.  It leaves you vulnerable as it did with Elah!  As Zimri snuck up on Elah while he was drunk, the devil does the same thing to drunkards today and creates much havoc in the lives of those with alcohol problems.  May God bless you to these points and stay away from alcoholism!

bottom of page