If you look at the Chronicles description of Abijah, you would think that he was a pretty good king. He sure sounded good in his speech to Jeroboam before their battle, and God did help the people of Judah defeat an army that was much bigger than theirs.
But when you look at the account of Kings, you find that Abijah was hardly a model king. It says,
He committed all the sins his father had done before him; his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his forefather had been. Nevertheless, for David’s sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong. (I Kings 15:3-4)
What sins did his father Rehoboam commit? The main thing was idol worship. So although it sounds in his speech in Chronicles that Abijah was fully committed to God, in reality, he had only a half-heart towards God. The reason God delivered Judah that day was not because Abijah was a great king, but that his forefather David had been whole-hearted after God. And for David’s sake, God rescued Judah.
Perhaps another reason God delivered Judah that day was that Israel was following a king that had no heart for God. Jeroboam had turned his back on God even though he knew it was God who had given him his position, and despite the warnings that were given him by the man of God in chapter 13 of I Kings.
Finally, Chronicles says that on the day of the battle, God helped the people of Judah because they relied on the Lord. Perhaps God was trying to show Abijah and the people just how much he would bless them if they would only seek him whole-heartedly all the time. But unfortunately, they did not.
How about you? What kind of heart do you have for God? Do you have no heart for God despite his love for you? If you continue to live this way, like Jeroboam, you will be judged for that attitude. Do you have a half-heart for God? God likes that even less. In the book of Revelation, he told the people in Laodicea,
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16)
Let us not be like Abijah and Jeroboam. Rather let us be like David. David wasn’t perfect. The book of Kings makes specific mention of that (I Kings 15:5).
But because he sought God with all his heart, God forgave his sin, and kept his hand of blessing on David.
Whole heart. Half heart. No heart. Which will you choose to have?