Read 1 Kings 15:1-8 slowly and repeatedly.
The main content of the text: Abijam committed all the evil deeds that Rehoboam did, but God remembered the covenant granted to David (2sam. 7:11-16) and showed mercy during his reign.
- Verses 1-5 Abijam is a king who is as evil as his father and as his grandfather in his later years. Nevertheless, God remembers the covenant he made to his servant David, “I will always have my lamp in Jerusalem” (11:36), and ensures that the Davidic dynasty continues. Just as God covered David’s terrible sin of killing Uriah and stealing his wife by evaluating him as ‘other than that, he acted honestly,’ God kept David’s dynasty safe despite the sins of his descendants. God promised that he would not destroy a city full of sin if he could find even just one righteous person (Gen. 18:32). The rise and fall of this generation depend on the righteous and upright conduct of Christianity today.What lesson does God give me?Verses 2,3 Abijam’s mother, Maacah, was an idolater who made and served an Asherah image (15:13), so she may have displayed a pagan form of faith before Abijam. Abijam’s evil deeds of condoning and abetting idols are also very similar to his father Rehoboam. Abijam did not learn from his ancestor the identity and pride of the dynasty of God’s kingdom and the holiness that distinguishes him from the tyrants of the world. On the contrary, they must have seen and learned the cunning and hypocrisy of serving both God and idols and taking care of their own desires. What proper traditions of faith does our generation need to continue to uphold? What wicked customs must we not pass down to the next generation?Verses 6-8 The reason why Northern Israel was divided was to restore Israel to the path of David (11:38), and Southern Judah also had a mission to restore faith by remaining as a light illuminating God’s temple. The North and South, having turned to God in this way, were supposed to unite again into one Israel, but Jeroboam and Abijam, who were absorbed in idolatry, only waged war. There is no brotherly love in those where greed reigns. They have lost the ability to feel ashamed, whether the world mocks them or not, and they are hastening each other’s destruction. Is it my own desire to love the world that I am at war with, or is it anyone who stands in the way of my desire?Community Prayer – Lord, help us to protect the precious inheritance of faith we have received from the generation above us.Prayer for the nations – The war began with the invasion of Israel by Hamas in Palestine. Let us pray that this war can be quickly negotiated peacefully, that it does not spread into a war in the Middle East, and that God protects the lives of those taken hostage so that they can return home safely and the Palestinian people who have fled can settle in a safe place.