2 Chronicles 13:18 “Thus the sons of Israel were subdued at that time, and the sons of Judah conquered because they trusted in the Lord, the God of their fathers.”
Battle stories fill the Bible. Some are devastating defeats and others are incredible victories. What is the reason for these opposites? Is it the nation involved? Is it the size of the army? Is it the prowess and strength of the warriors? None of these is the answer. The key to the greatest victories is faith in the One Who is all powerful and controls all things.
Spiritual lethargy settled over the land of Israel after the death of King Solomon. His son and successor, Rehoboam, did not manage the kingdom well. His foolish decisions split the nation into two pieces. Some years later the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel went to war against each other.
God brought both of these groups of His children out of slavery in Egypt. But differences developed over time. Under the reign of King Jeroboam, Israel departed from following the Lord carefully. This wicked king created golden calves that he encouraged the people to worship. He drove out the priests of the Lord from his land and initiated other unqualified priests to engage the people in idol worship. Judah, on the other hand, did not forsake the Lord. The sons of Aaron, the God-appointed priests, regularly performed the work that had been dictated to them in God’s instructions to Moses. They sought to follow and obey the commandments.
As the two armies came face to face, Abijah, King of Judah, confronted Jeroboam with these discrepancies. He warned him about his impending failure although his army was twice the size of Abijah’s. Abijah believed God would fight on his side because they had continued to follow His laws and seek Him.
But Jeroboam had some tricks up his sleeve. This crafty king set up an ambush from the rear, so when Judah turned around they saw the enemy on all sides. The smaller army cried out to God for help and then in faith gave the war cry. God answered, routed Jeroboam and all Israel, and gave Abijah and Judah a great victory. The record shows that Abijah and his army slew 500,000 of the proud warriors of Israel and that Jeroboam never recovered his strength before he died.
The explanation in verse 18 is the key to this small army’s victory.
“Thus the sons of Israel were subdued at that time, and the sons of Judah conquered because they trusted in the lord, the God of their fathers.”
It was not because they were special – God’s chosen people consisted of both Judah and Israel.
It was not because they were a large army – Judah had only 400,000 warriors to Israel’s 800,000.
It was not because they had great military acumen – Israel outsmarted them with an ambush.
It was only because of their faith in God that they received the victory. They trusted in the Lord and He fought on their behalf.
What battles are you fighting today? Are your bills outnumbering your paycheck? Is your wisdom lacking when it comes to a crucial decision? Don’t despair! You know the key to victory in any circumstance: it’s not about you, but about Whom you trust! — Love Mama
Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.