Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 15

Judah becomes a strong nation, because of David

1 Kings 15:3-5

God made Jerusalem strong during the rule of King Abijah. Although Abijah’s rule was short – just three years – God used him to make Judah into a powerful nation again.

The account of how this happened, is in 2 Chronicles chapter 13. Under the rule of Rehoboam, Abijah’s father, Judah had become a weak and poor nation. It seemed as if it could not continue to exist for much longer. So, after Abijah became king of Judah, King Jeroboam of northern Israel, attacked Judah. Jeroboam led an army which was much stronger than Judah’s army.

Abijah reminded Judah’s men of God’s promises to David’s family. He urged them to put their trust in God. In the battle, God acted powerfully in support of Judah’s army. The result was that Abijah gained control over some important towns, including Bethel.

However, Abijah was in fact an evil man. The Bible explains that God did not give this success to Judah because of Abijah. Rather, God gave Judah this success because he (God) wanted to give honour to David. It was because of David, and because of God’s promises to David, that God wanted his family to rule in Jerusalem.

God gives honour to his loyal people. David had been loyal to God, and he truly loved God through almost his whole life. There was only one period of his life when David turned away from God’s laws. That was when he took Uriah’s wife for himself (2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12). The incident in 2 Samuel chapter 24 happened because of his lack of trust in God, not because he neglected to obey God’s commands.

Next part: The rule and early death of Abijah (1 Kings 15:6-8)


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