Although Abijah had a woman of Israel for his mother instead of an Ammonitess, (like his father Rehoboam), yet this woman was, as we have just seen, one who worshipped idols. We need not, then, be surprised to read of him: “He walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him; and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father. Nevertheless for David’s sake did the Lord his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem.”


          We see from this record that it was his father’s evil example that led this king astray. What a voice to those of us who are fathers! May the Lord keep us from leaving behind a trail of sin for our sons to follow! For this was just what Rehoboam did for Abijah.


          But it was not the father alone who turned this son into paths of sin: the very fact that the Spirit of God records with such care the name and character of his mother, tells us that she too had part in forming his character. And as we read the stories of these kings of old, we cannot but be struck with the fact that in most instances the name of the mother is given to us, intimating that the responsibility for the child’s character rested in a large measure with the mother. During those childhood days, when lifelong impressions are being imprinted on the child’s character, it is the mother, much more than the father, or any other person, who generally has to do with the little one. This does not lessen the responsibility of the father, but it does increase the responsibility of the mother.


          But even in this evil king, God’s mercy and grace shines brightly, and under his hand there came a measure of deliverance to Judah, “because they relied upon the Lord God of their fathers.” (II Chronicles 13:18.)


          One of the remarkable things about this man was that although “he walked in all the sins of his father”, yet he had a good son, Asa. This is often a puzzle to many, but do we not find the solution in the Scripture quoted: “Nevertheless for David’s sake did the Lord his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem.” That good son Asa, was given for David’s sake. And David was Asa’s great-great grandfather! To the fourth generation David’s ways brought down blessing on his descendants. And we know also that God visits the iniquities of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations. (Exodus 20:5). What an exceedingly solemn consideration for us each one is this, to remember that our walk, day by day, may effect for blessing, or otherwise, our children, for as much as three, or even four generations, or for a very much longer time.