This lesson continues the study of Israel’s kings. Students learn from studying Abijah that although he wasn’t fully devoted to the LORD, when he faced an enemy bigger than himself he relied on God and God gave him victory over Jeroboam’s large army.
The lesson is created as a guide for teachers to prepare for the needs of his/her own classroom. We encourage you to adapt this outline to meet your own needs. (Note: The links to Bible Gateway for NIV references have some changes due to the 2010 Revision.) Click here to see the lesson index.
Bible Story: Abijah Relies on God
Scripture: 2 Chronicles 13:1-18; 1 Kings 15:1-8
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List: Bibles, paper, pencils/pens, markers, Legos/building materials, strips of paper for bookmarks. For younger children you could add some Christian coloring pages to supplement this lesson plan.
Learning Goal: Students will learn a person overcomes his/her enemy by relying fully on the Lord.
Learning Indicator: Students will demonstrate their understanding by answering review questions and participating in learning activities.
Learning Activity #1: Create your History. Have student write out what they would like to see written about them after they have lived their life on this earth. This activity will help them to see the choices they make in this life how they will be remembered by others. Students can draw a picture to represent things they would like to be remembered can be an alternative to writing their history.
Learning Activity #2: This activity can be used to help teach the memory verse. Have students create some every day objects from Legos or other building materials. Have them make a chair with only 3 legs and have a chair with four legs. Ask which one would they have more confidence sitting down in? Why? The one with three legs might fall over or break causing harm. Think of other objects that would need to be built securely in order for them to use the object with confidence (examples: ladder, stairs, etc.) Discuss how everyday we trust that when we sit down our chair is not going to break, stairs are not going to collapse etc. These are only temporary things that we put confidence in. God is the Creator of the Universe and He is in control of all things. We can trust Him completely and put our full confidence in His care because He is faithful.
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Psalm 86:11 (New International Version, ©2010) Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
Teaching the Verse: To rely means to depend confidently or to put trust in. When we created chairs, stairs, etc to show how we rely on every day objects we know that they aren’t always reliable. God is reliable. He never changes and He is faithful to take care of His children. Recite the verse and discuss words that may need to be clarified.
Hymn: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
Bible Lesson: Abijah Relies on God
Let’s turn in our Bibles to 1 Kings 15 and place a bookmark there. (Give students pieces of paper to mark the two places where Abijah is found in the Bible.) Now let’s flip over to 2 Chronicles 13 and put a bookmark there. We are going to be spending most of our time in 2 Chronicles this morning but we need to flip back over to 1 Kings 15 to begin.
Choose volunteer to read 1 Kings 15:3. If all we had recorded about Abijah was found in this verse how would your feel about his life? This isn’t a flattering description of Abijah’s life. Because it is found in God’s Word we know that it is a true description of his life. Thankfully, God has recorded something else about Abijah that we are going to focus on today.
Now we can flip over to 2 Chronicles 13. (If your students have been studying Israel’s kings review by asking why is there a divided kingdom in Israel? (Solomon sinned) Who was the first king to reign over the southern kingdom of Judah? (Rehoboam) Who was the first king who reigned over the northern kingdom of Israel? (Jeroboam) What do you remember about Jeroboam? (Created golden calves so he wouldn’t lose people from his kingdom to the southern kingdom)
Abijah is Rehoboam’s son and he began to reign after Rehoboam died. Let’s read 2 Chronicles 13:1-2. Who was reigning as king over the northern kingdom Israel? (Jeroboam who was in his 18th year of reign)
Why do you think there was war between the two kingdoms? (Allow students to respond) Sin causes wars. (James 4:1-3) Sin causes people to forget God’s commands and His promises. God told Jeroboam clearly what His plan was as He had the prophet tell him that he would be king over ten tribes of Israel. (1 Kings 11:29-39) Jeroboam did not keep God’s commands and caused his people to worship idols. It doesn’t clearly say this in the Bible but I wonder if Jeroboam fought with the southern kingdom because he wanted to rule all the tribes of Israel? (2 Chronicles 13:19-20)
Jeroboam was planning a battle against the southern kingdom (Judah). Abijah began to prepare for battle. Let’s read 2 Chronicles 13:3. As we think of the size of the two armies who do you think would naturally win? (Jeroboam)
God’s ways are not our ways. He delights to show His power in our weakness. (1 Corinthians 1:25) Although we read that Abijah’s heart was not fully devoted to the Lord we will discover that he knew the only way to win against his enemy was to fully rely on God. Abijah was facing a huge enemy and he knew enough about God that he knew the only way he could win this battle was if God fought it for him.
2 Chronicles 13:4-12 Abijah stood on the mountain and gave a speech to Jeroboam and his soldiers.
His speech included:
· Reminding them of God’s promise to David that his kingdom would reign forever.
· Jeroboam made golden calves to be their gods and drove out God’s priests from his kingdom and allowed anyone who wants to be a priest to be one.
· Abijah’s kingdom had God’s priests who were obedient to follow God’s required ways to worship.
· God is with Judah and enemies will lose if they fight against Him.
Let’s read 2 Chronicles 13:12. If you are a believer (you have believed that Jesus died on the cross for your sin, was buried and rose again the third day) God is with you and He is your leader. Believers face different enemies every day (sins, difficulties). If we rely on God He fights our enemies for us. If God is for us who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
2 Chronicles 13:13-18 Let’s look at verses 14-18. Who did Judah cry out to? (The LORD) Who delivered Jeroboam’s army into Judah’s hands? (God) How many people were defeated in Jeroboam’s army? (500,000) If you like math, how many soldiers did Jeroboam have left at the end of this battle? (300,000) How many soldiers did Abijah begin with? (400,000) We don’t see that any of Abijah’s soldiers were killed so who ended up with the most soldiers in the end? (Abijah)
Even though Abijah’s heart was not fully devoted to the Lord, God gave Judah the victory in this battle. What does 2 Chronicles 13:18 tell us the reason is that Judah overcame Jeroboam’s large army? (They relied on the LORD, the God of their fathers)
Abijah has two short passages written about him that record in history how he used the position of leadership of Israel that God had given him. Overall Abijah will be remembered as a king who committed all the sins his father had done and that his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord. In his 3 years of being king the one good thing he will be remembered for is relying on God when faced with a great enemy.
If you and I want to be remembered for our obedience and faithfulness to God, each day we need to make wise choices. (Joshua 24:15) If we fail, we don’t have to continue on the path of failure. We can confess our sin and repent and God will cleanse us from our unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
If you have not made the decision to believe in Jesus, today you can call upon Him to save you. He died on the cross for your sins, was buried and rose again on the third day. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31) If you would like to know more about how you can be saved please speak to us after the lesson.
Close in prayer.
- What does 1 Kings tell us about Abijah? (He committed the sins that his father had done and his heart wasn’t fully devoted to the Lord)
- Who was preparing to go to war with Abijah and the kingdom of Judah? (Jeroboam)
- How many soldiers did each kingdom prepare for battle? (Abijah-400,000 Jeroboam-800,000)
- What did Abijah say to Jeroboam and his army as he stood on the mountain? (God promised that David’s kingdom would last forever, Jeroboam made golden calves and drove off God’s priests and allowed anyone to be his priests, Judah had God’s priests who worshipped God according to His requirements, God is with Judah)
- Who allowed Judah to win the battle over Jeroboam? (God)
- Why did God give Abijah the victory in this battle? (He and Judah relied upon God)
- What choices do we make that can affect whether we live a life that is fully devoted to the Lord? (friends, activities, etc)
- What are things believers need to do every day to have a heart fully devoted to God? (Read Bible, memorize Scripture, Pray, go to church, have Christian friends)
- Personal questions to think about but not to answer out loud:
- What do you need to do need to do so that you are relying on God every day?
- When have you seen God give you victory over an enemy because you prayed about it and asked Him for help?