Lessons from One of Jeroboam’s Heirs - Abijah
History of Abijah Son of Jeroboam
About eight Abijah were mentioned in the bible, Abijah the son of Jeroboam was one of them, the name of the son of Rehoboam who became the King after King Jeroboam was Abijah, one of them was a woman during the days of Hezekiah while we also have those who hailed from the Levites family, they were priests. (1 Ch. 24:10; 2 Ch. 11:20; 12:16; 29:1; Neh. 10:7; 12:4; 12:17)
May I say that, Abijam is said to be a variant form of calling Abijah in the land of Israel. Therefore, where you see Abijam, to the Israelis you are also calling Abijah. (1 Ki 14:31)
However the one that I want to talk on in this article is Abijah the son of Jeroboam. He was probably the first son of Jeroboam because of the inquiries made by his father into his health status to know if he would be able to inherit him. Although, even if he is not the first son, a good father and caring parent would also seek into the welfare of their children, they would seek to do anything to secure the lives of their children. (1 Kings 14)
Whether first or second son, this child was the king’s heir and has access to becoming the king when the king is no more.
He was perhaps given birth to when the King becomes crowned by his Egyptian wife. Nothing much is said about this son of the King by the bible other than in him was little good found towards God in his father’s house. He is also perhaps the only one out of King Jeroboam’s male children who has a sepulcher and was given a state burial in the northern kingdom of Israel because of the little good that God and people could ascribe to him.
Meaning of the name
The Hebrew word for Abijah is “אביּהוּ אביּה”, Romanized form is 'ăbı̂yâh 'ăbı̂yâhû, (pronounced as ab-ee-yaw', ab-ee-yaw'-hoo) which means father that is worshiper of Jah, or Yahweh is a father.
Lessons from His Life
He was probably the first child of the king and given birth to after the King has been crowned. He was being brought up in the ways of contrary to the Lord of Israel by the King and his wife, because they have deviated from the way and were looking for means of perpetuating their stay on the seat, thus they have carved images for themselves that the people should be worshipping taken the people away from Yahweh. (1 Ki 12:26-33)
As a person brought up in this way, one would feel he should be following the foot paths of his parents, but he did not because it was said that some goods were found in him by God.
Assuming the prophet did not say this, and assuming the King sends his wife to the prophets of Baal, they may not have revealed this to the woman, but because she went to the prophet of God this was revealed to her by Prophet Alijah that some goods were found in the young boy.
“And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.” (1 Ki 14:13)
Why He Has Done This
Some of the probable reasons why he damn what his father would do to do what he believes was right were the following
1. Learning from History: I believe strongly that the history of kingship would be told him by his father or people of the country that his father govern over.
2. Inquisitiveness to Know God: Having heard of such history, I believe the desire to know God would have overwhelmed the young boy. We shall recall that the bible says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom 10:17). Having heard those history he desires to know that God who has saved his fore parents, desires to know the God who has altered events and given the Kingdom to his father. The God who did not split the nation into two equal halves but the God who has given about 80 percent of the kingdom to his father.
3. The Visitation of the Prophet from Judah With Signs following: the prophet that God sends from Judah to tell King Jeroboam of his error may have been one of the resource persons God used for this young son to seek God the more. (1 Ki 13)
4. Seeking the Lord Early: He would have learnt from the ancient people that seeking the Lord when one is young is the best thing that can happen to the youth in the world, thus, he seeks that Lord wanting to know him more, wanting to have more of him in his life.
“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;” (Ecc 12:1)
5. Tired of the offering and sacrifices: Having known some things about Yahweh he becomes tired of offering things to idols, golden images that his father has carved for the people.
6. He was Supported: People of like minds living in the northern kingdom must have supported him in his quest to know more God, and because he has leverage, things to fall back on, he could continue with his pursuits. It is always not good to be alone in a struggle, for it will take stronger determination to succeed if alone in a struggle. (Ecc 4:9)
The Unstated Good Thing Found in the Child - Abijah
We shall notice that the so called “some good thing” found in him towards the God of Israel; were not stated in the bible, but online Wikipedia says, rabbinical literature says, the small good found to him was said to be an allusion to Abijah’s courageous and pious act in removing the sentinels placed by his father on the frontier between Israel and Judah to prevent pilgrimages to Jesus. Some assert that he himself undertook a pilgrimage which shows that his heart draws towards Yahweh which his father had gone against.
He went against his father’s decision because he knows himself as an individual entity that has a right to live, right to worship and chose the right path.
What he did grieve demons his father served, and they attacked him. It is possible that his father may have believed that the demons were annoyed with his son and had attacked his son, thence not sending wife to idol priests but to prophet of God to know what to do about his deteriorating health.
Demons always attack spirit of God, darkness attacks light, if you do right thing people will go against you.
Pleases God to Call Him Home
Having taken the right step, the Lord equally decides to call him to himself so that he would not be involved in the on going corruption that has pervaded the country.
“The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.
“He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.” (Isa 57:1-2)
God sometimes allow demons to have upper hand on the children of God not because of their sins but to save them from the dangers ahead which they do not know of.
God allows devil to have upper hand on the child and he took ill, because he has summed up the kingdom of his father and knows the best to do for the child is to call him home at that period. When we do good things and we do not live long it is better than doing the wrong things and live long on earth.
The Prophet spoke of his death and of what God sees in him, the recommendation of God about him and what people will do for him. What is the recommendation of God about us? What would the Lord say about you and i?
Abijah though lived a short life, but the life he lived was meaningful and has impact on the lives of people bringing people to the Lord.
Age is not a barrier to doing good thing for the Lord, doing what is right, as we see here that this heir was yet a child when he did the good thing that God commended about and the people noticed, therefore, do not hide under the subterfuge that I am still a child to continue to do evil or not to give your life to Christ Jesus.
You also need to know that you can also do that thing which you think is impossible if you have the mind of God, if you want to please the Lord so that it would be said of you that you have also lived a life that is meaningful to the Lord.
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