1 Kings 15:1-8
Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah.…
I. THE STORY OF A MISUSED OPPORTUNITY. Even in a three years' reign much might have been done. Israel had its troubles, the past its lessons of wisdom; but there was no ear to hear the one, and no heart to attempt redress of the other.
1. The secret of failure.
(1) He was content with things as he found them. It is not said that he introduced any new idolatries: "He walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him." The sin and responsibility of those who continue to walk in the paths of sinful, though general and time-honoured, customs, and who do not forsake the idolatries and iniquities of their fathers.
(2) His love was not set upon God. The worship of Jehovah was still continued. Abijah had experienced the signal mercy of God (2 Chronicles 13.) His heart might have been won, but it "was not perfect with the Lord his God as the heart of David his father." There was no thirsting after God, no delight in the sense of the favour which is life, and the loving-kindness which is better than life. The love of God the only source of work for God.
2. The sinful was also a troubled reign: "there was war," etc., and it was war with brethren.
3. The opportunity was soon ended: "he reigned three years." Opportunities abused may be soon removed. The life which sin has marred death may swiftly seal.
II. A RIGHTEOUS LIFE AN UNDYING POWER WITH GOD. "For David's sake did the Lord his God give him," etc. Our good does not die with us or with our generation. The memory of it dwells, and prevails, with God.
1. The sinful king has a son to succeed him, and one whom God directs and blesses.
2. The city is preserved and the flood of evil driven back - "to establish Jerusalem." God's promises, our prayers, and our purposes are alike remembered. They bloom amid our dust. Our love and loyalty to God will fall in blessing upon ages yet to come.
III. SIN LEAVES ITS STAIN ON THE FAIR RECORD OF A RIGHTEOUS LIFE. "Save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite." God will not wink at or cloak our iniquity. Is there any matter of which thou and all will hear when the books are opened? If there be, is it not a call for humiliation and for prayer? - J.U.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah.