Saturday, May 18, 2013

Abijah - First Battle

By Mary Vee
II Chronicles 13

From Abijah's Journal

Last time I wrote, I told you of my new position as king of Judah. After father's passing, I deeply wanted to reunite the kingdom, all twelve tribes.

As my foe, Jeroboam, king of Israel, he drew the battle line with an army twice the size of mine. I spoke to them, warning the soldiers of our deep desire to worship the Lord. I welcomed them to join us and to walk away from Jeroboam as their leader.

Not one came to our side. 

I raised my sword signaling my army to attack. But, it was then that a noise from behind my army captured my attention. I looked and found an ambush of Jeroboam's soldiers waiting to attack. They crept around behind us while I offered their army one last chance to join us. Crafty.

Surrounded on all sides by an army twice the size of us, I knew we were doomed unless we had help from God. I and my men cried out to the Lord. The priests with us, ones appointed by God, blew their trumpets signaling all the men of Judah to raise the battle cry.

At the same moment our cry rang toward the heavens, God routed Jeroboam and all of his army before us. Jeroboam and his army tried to flee, but God delivered them into our hands. Their army suffered five hundred thousand casualties from our swords. A heavy loss for Jeroboam's army.

My army chased Jeroboam, forcing him to retreat quite a ways. We took from him the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron, with their surrounding villages. What a glorious victory for Judah. Jeroboam did not regain power at any time during my reign.

After the battle we celebrated the Lord's victory over Jeroboam's army. We had relied on the Lord the God of our fathers for help, and he provided.

Life became easier afterwards.

I married fourteen times and had twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. I must admit I didn't keep all the commands of the Lord after the day of the battle. The priests warned my father against doing many of the things he did. They warned me too. My heart was not fully devoted to the Lord any longer.

Not like David, the great king that everyone talks about. The priest once told me I should feel blessed because, although I had sinned, for David's sake, the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong. 

The priest also said David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord's commands all the days of his life--except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.

I don't know that I could live up to such a standard. It seemed easier to follow my father's footsteps, even though it did not please God.

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1. Who is king of Israel at this time?  Who is king of Judah at this time?
2. Why did Abijah fight Jeroboam's army?
3. What sneaky plan did Jeroboam's army have?
4. What did Abijah and his army do when they saw Jeroboam's attack? They cried to _____
5. What happened next?
6. After the battle what kind of life did Abijah choose to live? Why?
7. Did Abijah choose to continue following God?

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