The Hebrew people were now a divided Kingdom, Israel to the north under Jeroboam its king, Abijah reigning over the southern kingdom of Judah. They were divided and different. Judah was ruled by a man born from God’s chosen line of David; Israel’s king was a rebellious son of Solomon’s servant, illegitimate to the throne. Judah followed the Lord God, whose priests were of God’s chosen line of Aaron and tribe of Levi. In Israel, “whoever comes for ordination with a young bull or seven rams” became a priest (2Chronicles 13:9) and presented offerings to golden calves made by Jeroboam.
One difference seemed to favor Israel–they had an army of 800,000, Judah half that size. And now, Abijah had marched Judah’s army into Jeroboam’s ambush. Judah was surrounded, completely enclosed by an enemy twice its size. The enemy was north, south, east, and west, but Israel could not guard the skies, and Judah’s source of strength came from the heavens. God was on high, and he was Judah’s God. “Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with their battle trumpets to sound the call to battle against you,” warned Abijah. “O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your fathers, for you cannot succeed” (2Chronicles 13:12). Jeroboam did not succeed, and never recovered. “The Lord struck him down, and he died. But Abijah grew mighty” (2Chronicles 13:20-21).
Israel and Judah were divided and different, but only one difference mattered, “We keep the charge of the Lord our God,” said Abijah, “but you have forsaken him” (2Chronicles 13:11).
My Lord and Savior, You have placed me in a battlefield on earth, in a world that loves neither You nor Your ways. I cannot be a friend to the ways of the world and follow You at the same time. I must make a choice, and I choose You, which means I fight the world and the world fights me. No matter, though, because You are with me and will never leave me, so I can stand in Your Name.
Thank You for so great a salvation. You are my strength and my confidence and I trust fully in You. My eyes will stay true, my heart pure, my path straight, so long as I love You, listen to Your Word, and follow Your ways.