It's God's Kingdom
Lord, in Your will my life finds purpose and in Your love I have found salvation. All thanks to You.
Read 2 Chronicles 13:1-22
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take up shield and buckler; arise and come to my aid” (Psa. 35:1-2).
The books of Kings deals briefly with Abijah, naming him as a bad king whose only significance is that, for the sake of David, he’s permitted to have a son who would continue the Davidic line (1 Kings 15:1-8). Chronicles only hints at his badness, but puts into his mouth a ringing affirmation of the messianic kingdom.
The context is one of the many battles in the ongoing civil war between the northern and southern kingdoms that is otherwise given little attention in Chronicles. Abijah sees that God’s kingdom cannot be defeated and that this kingdom has been put into “the hands of David’s descendants” (8). The great mark of this kingdom is God “with us” (the meaning of the word imanu), not only in the Temple but in the midst of the people, as their leader. His presence is assured by the continuation of worship and sacrifice according to his given pattern. The battle is won not by superior forces (Jeroboam has twice as many soldiers as Abijah) but by crying to the Lord. The trumpets and the shouting imply a cry of joy and triumph even before God wins the battle for them.
There are several hints as to the wickedness on which Kings focuses: the public shaming of a king of God’s people (6, 8); the slander against Jeroboam’s supporters, who included a prophet (9; see 1 Kings 11:29-40); the unnecessary slaughter of half a million fellow Israelites (17); and failing to remove the calf-idols from Bethel (19). The affirmation of the kingdom in the mouth of such a king indicates that even the wickedness of the sons of David cannot defeat God’s messianic purposes. His kingdom will come, and he will be with his people! Hallelujah!
“Behold, with us as head is God” (literal translation of v. 12). Reflect on how this describes the church as the messianic kingdom, and pray, “Your kingdom come.”
Sovereign Lord, disobedience and sin cannot derail Your purposes. I take confidence in this hope and seek to live obediently for You.
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