Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 14

Why Abijah, Jeroboam’s son, died young

1 Kings 14:12-13

When God delays his judgments, he does it to give people an opportunity to turn to him first (2 Peter 3:9).

The punishment of Jeroboam’s family would not happen immediately – in fact, it did not happen until after Jeroboam’s death (15:28-29). However, God gave immediate evidence that this prophecy (message from God) was true. That evidence was the death of Jeroboam’s son, Abijah.

Abijah’s death at such a young age was not God’s judgment against him. In fact, Abijah was the only member of his whole family who had been loyal to the true God. Although it seems strange to us, Abijah’s death was an act of God’s mercy, his great kindness, to him. God was using Abijah’s death as a means to rescue him from his evil family, and their terrible punishment.

So, Abijah alone from that family received an honourable funeral and a proper grave. That funeral was a national occasion of great importance for the people across Israel (14:18). Perhaps Israel’s people had hoped that this young man with his good character would become their king. It did not happen – instead, his early death saved him from the terrible punishment that his whole family suffered.

Often, we cannot explain why a young person dies. Ecclesiastes 9:1-3 says that the same kinds of events happen in all people’s lives. However, Ecclesiastes 9:1 still insists that good people are ‘in God’s hands’ – in other words, in all these situations, God is taking care of them. Paul also taught that in Romans 8:28 and 8:35-39. Nothing whatever can separate God’s people from his love for them.

Next part: The future of northern and central Israel (1 Kings 14:14-16)


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