The Obedience of One
After Solomon, David's son, died Jeroboam was king over Israel and Rehoboam (Solomon's son) was King over Judah. The tribes were split because of Solomon's disobedience. In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam Rehoboam died and his son Abijam reigned in his stead. Abijam is also called Abijah in II Chronicles 13. He reigned not quite three years and because of the obedience of David God helped Abijam. I Kings 15 tells us that he walked in the sins of his father (Rehoboam had built idols and allowed sodomy to remain). God gives us more information in II Chronicles.
According the E.W. Bullinger, the books of Chronicles were originally one but divided due to the limited length of a scroll (the same with I & II Samuel and I & II Kings). Bullinger states in the Companion Bible "In the Books of Samuel and Kings events are viewed from the human and exoteric [external-suitable for the public] standpoint, while in Chronicles the same events are viewed from the Divine and esoteric [internal-private knowledge] standpoint." When we look at events in this light we see how events were viewed by man and in contrast how God views them and His hand in things.
Now let us look at II Chronicles in regards to Abijah, remember I Kings tells us he walked in the sins of his father, Rehoboam. Abijah's army consisted of 400,000 valiant men of war and Jeroboam had 800,000 mighty men of valour (13:1, 2)
II Chronicles 13
:4 And Abijah stood up upon mount Zemaraim,
which is in mount Ephraim, and said,
Hear me, thou Jeroboam, and all Israel;
:5 Ought ye not to know
that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever,
even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?
:6 Yet Jeroboam
the son of Nebat,
the servant of Solomon
the son of David,
is risen up, and hath rebelled against his lord.
:7 And there are gathered unto him vain men,
the children of Belial,
and have strengthened themselves against Rehoboam
the son of Solomon,
when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, [showed himself to be weak]
and could not withstand them.
:8 And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD
in the hand of the sons of David;
and ye be a great multitude,
and there are with you golden calves,
which Jeroboam made you for gods.
:9 Have ye not cast out the priests of the LORD,
the sons of Aaron,
and the Levites,
and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands?
so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself
with a young bullock and seven rams,
the same may be a priest of them that are no gods.
:10 But as for us, the LORD is our God ,
and we have not forsaken him;
and the priests,
which minister unto the LORD,
are the sons of Aaron,
and the Levites wait upon their business:
Wow, a whole different perspective. According to man's view Abijah walked in the sins of his father. But here God shows us that he stood for God at least once in his life. Well, looking at his humbling circumstances I can see why: Judah's army is 400,000 and Israel's is 800,000. Odds are 2:1 and not in his favor.
Jeroboam wouldn't listen. Israel surrounded Abijah's army and ambushed them.
:14 And when Judah looked back,
behold, the battle was before and behind:
and they cried unto the LORD,
and the priests sounded with the trumpets.
:15 Then the men of Judah gave a shout:
and as the men of Judah shouted,
it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam
and all Israel [they had walked away from God's protection by disobedience]
before Abijah and Judah.
:16 And the children of Israel fled before Judah:
and God delivered them into their hand.
:17 And Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter:
so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men.
:18 Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time,
and the children of Judah prevailed,
because they relied upon the LORD God of their fathers .
From God's point of view they relied upon Him and he delivered them even when the odds were 2:1. But there is more to it than that.
I Kings 15
:4 Nevertheless for David's sake
did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem,
to set up his son after him,
and to establish Jerusalem:
:5 Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD,
and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him
all the days of his life,
save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
Because David was obedient Judah was victorious.
There is another one that was obedient unto God. He had a more dramatic effect. Because he was obedient, even unto death, we can be quickened--made alive. The one is Jesus Christ.
:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest;
but he that said unto him,
Thou art my Son,
to day have I begotten thee.
:6 As he saith also in another place,
Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
:7 Who in the days of his flesh,
when he had offered up prayers and supplications
with strong crying and tears
unto him that was able to save him from death,
and was heard in that he feared;
:8 Though he were a Son,
yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; [experienced]
:9 And being made perfect,
he became the author of eternal salvation
unto all them that obey him;
Because of Christ's obedience he became the High Priest. When God raised Jesus Christ from the dead he was made perfect and made available eternal salvation for those who are obedient.
:24 But this man,
[Priest--this is italicized and supplied for clarity, the subject is priest]
because he continueth ever,
hath an unchangeable priesthood.
:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost
that come unto God by him,
seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
:26 For such an high priest became us, [is suitable for us]
who is holy,
separate from sinners,
and made higher than the heavens;
:27 Who needeth not daily,
as those high priests,
to offer up sacrifice,
first for his own sins,
and then for the people's:
for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
:28 For the law maketh men high priests
which have infirmity;
but the word of the oath,
which was since the law,
maketh the Son,
who is consecrated for evermore.
Because Jesus Christ was obedient he offered himself as the sacrifice so that the high priests need not offer them any more. Jesus Christ paid the price once. He was holy, undefiled and separated out from among the flock to be the Passover lamb for our remission of sins and healing. The law made men high priests who had infirmities but because God created seed within Mary to bring forth Jesus Christ his blood was pure.
:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood,
he [Jesus Christ] also himself likewise took part of the same;
that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death,
that is, the devil;
So, Jesus Christ was offered up as the Passover Lamb taking our sins and sicknesses and was consecrated-perfected, brought to completion--for evermore. Even though Jesus was reluctant to endure the disfigurement he knew was coming (from reading Isaiah 53) he was obedient. He knew he was the Messiah and this must be done.
:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come,
by a greater and more perfect tabernacle,
not made with hands,
that is to say, not of this building;
:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves,
but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place,
having obtained eternal redemption for us .
:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats,
and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean,
sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ,
who through the eternal Spirit
offered himself without spot to God,
purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament,
that by means of death,
for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament,
they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood;
and without shedding of blood is no remission.
:23 It was therefore necessary
that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these;
but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands,
which are the figures of the true;
but into heaven itself,
now to appear in the presence of God for us:
:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;
and unto them that look for him
shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
God is so wonderfully benevolent to have sent His son as our redeemer, we surely didn't deserve it. This is most humbling. Jesus Christ is the one who was obedient unto to death so that we may have life.
:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses, [the Old Testament Believers]
let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience
the race that is set before us,
:2 Looking unto Jesus
the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him
endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
He was obedient for the joy that was set before him. Through the obedience of one we are here. Through your obedience you will effect the generations that follow you.
I encourage you to read all of Hebrews. It gives us a great sense of our freedom from the law and our redemption. It was written to the Judeans explaining the significance of the Jesus Christ's life, death and resurrection.