When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he is the only one of Jeroboam who shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something good toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.
It would seem from this short statement that this boy (whose name was Abijah) was the only one in Jeroboam’s family who actually loved the Lord. How did that happen? Was his mother or grandmother a believer who taught him to fear the Lord? The Bible doesn’t tell us, but it is encouraging to read. Despite the sins of his father, Abijah was loved by God.
Throughout the year, our church is involved with many children from homes like that. The parents are heavily involved in sinful problems and are unwilling to turn to God for the answers. But somehow, they still allow their children to attend the children’s programs our church offers. What an encouragement to know that God has drawn children from wicked homes to himself in the past. There is still hope that he will do it today.
I think that He will always allow people to seek Him.
I also believe that we need to be very careful about how we apply the morality lessons found in the Old Testament. Jews had a different relationship with God, and had/have a different code of what’s right and wrong.
In this case, of course, no problems — it’s very simple, and no reason is given for God’s mercy on Abijah, so fire away.
I’ve heard people talk about “sin” in the Old Testament, and you have to remember that many things that they considered sin, Christians do not and vice versa.
Divorce at the man’s sole discretion and polygamy are acceptable in the Old Testament, for instance, and eating pork isn’t. In the NT those are reversed.
The moral of the story (if you will) found in this story is that God is merciful. Even wicked King Ahab found this out (albeit for a limited time).
While there were differences between the Testaments, the main goal was the same: faith in God and afterward seeking to please him by obeying what was revealed at that time. Hebrews 11 explains this well.