When someone says you take after your father (or your mother), it is usually a compliment. That was not the case for King Abijah. He gets just eight verses to describe his three- year reign over Judah in Jerusalem. He is characterized as a wicked king who followed his father Rehoboam’s example. As a result, he did not enjoy peace; he experienced war with the kingdom of Israel.
While we might have expected God to punish Abijah, he is protected by David’s legacy. While Abijah and the nation were worthy of severe judgment for breaking the first and second commandments, God withheld extreme punishment because of David’s faithfulness! (v. 4). David wasn’t perfect; this chapter acknowledges that explicitly. But the writer describes him as not failing to “keep any of the LORD’s commands all the days of his life” (v. 5).
Because of this wonderful legacy, even though David’s descendants were often wicked, God showed them mercy. In the northern kingdom, on the other hand, Jeroboam’s sin brought the immediate promise of exile (1 Kings 14:15). Why this special treatment for Judah? It was a result of God’s commitment to David as expressed in the Davidic covenant (2 Samuel 7).
It is true that David left a wonderful legacy of obedience, but, more importantly, God made David a promise, “your house and your kingdom will be made sure forever before me. Your throne will be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:16). God kept His promises, despite the sin of David’s successors. What did that commitment look like? When Abijah died, his son Asa inherited the throne, and he, like his great, great, great grandfather David, was a righteous king! Behold the mercy of the God.
>> On this Mother’s Day, we give thanks for the important women in our lives. We thank God for mothers who have shown us the Lord’s love and guided us in His truth. May they feel especially loved and appreciated!
Our parents shape us profoundly—in both good and bad ways. Give us truthful eyes to discern between the two so we can follow their example in the good and depart from the bad. In all this, conform us to You.