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King Abijah's battle against Jeroboam

King Abijah is outnumbered by Jeroboam's army.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Hindi, Simplified Chinese
When Rehoboam became King, Jeroboam led a rebellion against him. As a result the nation was divided into two kingdoms. In the north were ten tribes making up Israel, led by Jeroboam, and in the south two tribes making up Judah, ruled by Rehoboam. – Slide 1
18 years after the nation split King Rehoboam died and his son Abijah was crowned King. He ruled from Jerusalem, where the Temple of God had been built and the priests of God came to run the services. – Slide 2
Jeroboam still ruled in the north and to stop the people in Israel returning to Judah to worship at the Temple he had built new places for them to worship. One was at Bethel and the other at Dan. – Slide 3
Jeroboam had placed idols of golden bulls at Bethel and Dan for the people to worship, something that God had forbidden. He also allowed people who were not from the tribe of Levi to serve as priests and lead the false worship taking place. – Slide 4
When Jeroboam learnt that Abijah had taken over as King he assembled an army of 800,000 fighting men. – Slide 5
Abijah could only gather half that number in his army – 400,000 fighters. – Slide 6
Abijar led his army north to defend his border. – Slide 7
He and his men stood on Mount Zemaraim overlooking the powerful and mighty army of King Jeroboam. – Slide 8
Although Abijah was a man who in the past had not fully trusted God, when faced with the battle ahead he did turn to God for help. He spoke up bravely, addressing King Jeroboam and his mighty army gathered before him. ‘Listen to me Jeroboam and all Israel,’ he shouted. – Slide 9
‘Don’t you know that God promised to give the Kingship of all Israel to the descendants of King David? Yet Jeroboam who is not a descendant of King David and his scoundrels have rebelled and taken control. You are indeed a mighty army,’ he announced, ‘and you have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam has made into your gods. – Slide 10
‘Didn’t you drive out God’s priests from the tribe of Levi and make priests of your own? Anyone who offers a young bull and seven rams can become a priest in your kingdom. – Slide 11
‘As for the people of Judah, the Lord is our God and we have not turned our backs on Him. Every morning and evening God’s priests offer sacrifices and fragrant offerings to Him. They light the lamps on the golden lampstand every evening. – Slide 12
‘We are worshipping God as He asked us to do, but you are not. God is with us. He is our Leader. His priests will sound the battle cry against you on their trumpets. People of Israel, if you fight against the Lord God you will not succeed.’ – Slide 13
Jeroboam had cunningly sent some of his troops round behind the army of Judah to set an ambush. King Abijar and his soldiers were not only outnumbered but trapped. They were about to be attacked from the front and from the rear. – Slide 14
The army of Judah responded by crying out to the Lord for help. – Slide 15
The priests sounded their trumpets and the soldiers let out a battle cry – Slide 16
At the sound of the battle cry, God helped the army of Judah completely overpower the army of Israel. Jeroboam and his troops fled and suffered 500,000 casualties. – Slide 17
The people of Judah were victorious in this battle because they had relied on the Lord their God. – Slide 18
Abjiah and his army captured the nearby towns of Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron and the surrounding villages. They remained in Abijah’s control for the rest of his reign. – Slide 19
Abjiah grew in strength and ruled for three years before he died and his son Asa became King. – Slide 20
Slide 21