Abijah’s Evil Reign in Judah

Bible scholar and author D. A. Carson tells of a time when he and a friend were going to the beach for some much-needed peace and quiet, but when they got there they found a horde of high school kids celebrating graduation with lots of beer, loud music and, shall we say, public d … More

Afflictions

Abijah, Rehoboam’s son and David’s grandson, succeeded his father to the throne of Judah (v. 1). He reigned for a period of three years in Jerusalem and he walked in the sins of hia father (vv. 2-3). This began near the end of Jeroboam’s reign in Israel. Because of David, who did right in the eyes of the Lord (except for his sin with Bathsheba and the coverup with Uriah), and not because of Abijah’s own character, He poured out His blessing on Judah (vv. 4-5).  From all indications his reign was not one of outright apostasy but rather one of creeping compromise. Abijah did not abandon the Lord but tolerated idolatry.

The war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continued throughout Abijah’s lifetime (vv. 6-7).  Abijah’s military forces won a decisive victory over those of Jeroboam because Judah called upon the Lord.  It would appear that Abijah was approximately 40 years of age when he died which meant that he was at the height of manhood. All of the time he was ruling, the kingdom of Judah was slipping. All of the sins of Rehoboam were still tolerated during Abijam’s rule. The importance of one’s affections is emphasized by the reference to Abijah’s heart. He evidently said one thing but lived another when it came to idolatry. The rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did , are written in the books of the Chronicles and of the Kings. The death of Abijam opened the way for Asa to take over the throne (v. 8).

Application

Just as in the case of Abijah, my affections often determine my actions. That is why my affections need to be set on things above and not on the things of this world.

I Kings 15:1-8 (English Standard Version)

Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Abijam began to reign over Judah. He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. And he walked in all the sins that his father did before him, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father. Nevertheless, for David's sake the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem, because David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. Now there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life. The rest of the acts of Abijam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. And Abijam slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David. And Asa his son reigned in his place.

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