The word “love” is so overused it can be considered a cliche. Everyone wants to be loved, but what does that mean? Does love mean to allow any behaviour, whether or not it is acceptable? Does love mean to be a harsh and unruly disciplinarian? Well, for the Christian God is love, and by sacrificing His only begotten Son He manifests the greatest act of love, unconditional love (John 3:16). Today, we will examine love in action between two warring nations.
In 2 Chronicles 13, Solomon’s grandson, Abijah, is reigning over Judah. Israel and Judah had been divided in Rehoboam’s, Abijah’s father’s, time, and since then the brother nations have had continual wars, (2 Chronicles 12:15).
Now, Abijah’s father has already died by the time 2 Chronicles 13 begins, but his opponent Jeroboam is still alive. In fact, Jeroboam lives into Abijah’s reign over Judah. Unlike Jeroboam who caused Israel to sin, “And…made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people , which were not of the sons of Levi” (1 Kings 12:25-33), Abijah, “[keeps] the charge of the LORD [their] God” (2 Chronicles 13:11). So, when Jeroboam, prepares to fight Abijah and Judah, Abijah begs Jeroboam not to do so. This is because, Abijah had revernce for the sacred sanctuary services and led God’s people to worship Him alone. As a result, with confidence he could declare, “O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper” (2 Chronicles 13:12)
Instead of just going for the taking, Abijah tells Jeroboam and his host of , “eight hundred thousand chosen men” (2 Chronicles 13:3) to abandon their plans. This means that Abijah has a genuine concern about the wellbeing of his brethren. He does not will that Jeroboam and Israel die in their sins. Yet, the king of Judah does not condone their evil practices.
As Christians we must have the same love for family members that have hurt us. We must love Christ so much that we stand for righteousness, and have mercy on the sinner.
-Thank You Jesus!