Abijah was Rehoboam’s son and the next crowned king. Abijah was not like his father – under his leadership his kingdom had submitted themselves to God, observing God’s requirements and asserting Him as their leader.
Abijah wanted to reunite the two kingdoms of Israel and he made a plea to Jeroboam and his troops; “Don’t fight against the Lord, the God of your ancestors! You will not succeed!”
Jeroboam had a large army – a much, much larger army than Abijah had. For every strong and skilled soldier that Abijah had, Jeroboam had two! Jeroboam had 800,000 men in his army and Abijah had 400,000 – but that didn’t stop Abijah from pleading with Jeroboam’s army to repent and turn back to the One true God.
Jeroboam had a sneaky plan. He decided that since he had so many soldiers he could surround Abijah’s army and they could ambush the smaller army.
Some of Jeroboam’s soldiers stood in front of Abijah’s soldiers and others snuck around the back – Abijah’s smaller army was surrounded! When they saw this, what do you think they did? What would you do if you were surrounded by a big, scary army?
Abijah and his men cried out to the Lord. They asked God to help them. And God did! God helped them and Abijah’s army did some serious fighting that day. Remember how many men were in Abijah’s army? 400,000. Well those 400,000 men caused 500,000 causalities in Jeroboam’s army. They caused more injuries than there were men in their own army!
Abijah pursued Jeroboam and took several of his cities from him. Then God struck Jeroboam down and he died.
While the Northern kingdom of Israel was not a threat throughout the rest of King Abijah’s reign, he did not succeed in reuniting the two kingdoms.