Bad men cannot help respecting God’s true messengers. Why did not Jeroboam go to the prophets of the calves? The ungodly and those who follow false religions lose all confidence in their notions in times of necessity, and begin to look about them for better comfort. Ahijah’s word had been powerful with the king before, and therefore he sent to him again. Many a sinner has a something in his conscience which bears witness to the Lord’s minister, for his word has informer times been full of power.
Those who think to hide themselves from God will be utterly confounded, for he will unmask them to their everlasting shame. Sinners now appear in the garb of saints, but the Lord knoweth them that are his.
Therefore the Lord declared that there should be no sons left of the family of Jeroboam, and none to perpetuate his name and race. The whole family was devoted to utter destruction and erasure from among the households of Israel. God knows how to punish as well as how to bless.
Upon this incident Matthew Henry remarks:—”Those are good in whom are good things towards the Lord God of Israel; good inclinations, good intentions, good desires towards him. Where there is but some good thing of that kind, it will be found; God who seeks it sees it, be it never so little, and is pleased with it. A little grace goes a great way with great folks. It is so rare to find princes well affected to religion, that when they are so, they are worthy of double honour. Pious dispositions are in a peculiar manner amiable and acceptable when they are found in those that are young. The divine image in miniature has a peculiar lustre and beauty in it. A good child in the house of Jeroboam is a miracle of divine grace: to be there untainted is like being in the fiery furnace unhurt, unsinged. Observe the care taken of him: he only of all Jeroboam’s family shall be buried, and shall be lamented, as one that lived desired. Those that are distinguished by the divine grace shall be distinguished by the divine providence.” In this family we trust there are some who have in them hopeful signs of grace: let such be encouraged by observing that the Lord notices the smallest measure of grace which may be found in any one of us.
God Himself is with us for our Captain.”
; 2Ch_13:18; 2Ch_13:20
While the new kingdom of the ten tribes was under the sway of Jeroboam, Rehoboam died and was succeeded by his son.
Who can imagine the horrors of a civil war conducted upon such a scale as this. Surely every male in the two nations must have been draughted into one or other of the armies. Blessed are we in this matter since no alarms of war are heard in our streets. May the Lord cause wars to cease unto the ends of the earth.
It was wise on Abijah’s part so to state the cause of battle. When it is a question between God and golden calves the. result of the dispute is certain.
This was a worthy speech, and very commendable as intended to prevent bloodshed. We cannot be sure that Abijah was a spiritual man, but he and the nation of Judah as yet held to the worship of Jehovah, and therefore had the Lord on their side.
Jeroboam was not a man of words, but of deeds, and was surrounding his foe while Abijah was delivering his oration.
Praying and praising are noble weapons; no wonder that the Lord interposed when his people drew him into the fight by their two hands of pleading and blessing.
He was made to feel at last how unequal was his conflict with God, yet he persevered in it, and died impenitent, leaving the divine curse as a legacy to his descendants. May the good Lord save us from such an end.