“Incense Part 1”
“And they burn unto the LORD every morning and every evening bunt sacrifices and sweet incense; the showbread also set they in order upon the pure table, and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening. For we keep the charge of our LORD, but you have forsaken him." 2 Chron. 13:11
When King Abijah was facing King Jereboam in battle in 2 Chronicles 13, you have a picture of a divided kingdom. The ten tribes of Israel to the north are at war with Judah to the south. The tribe of Benjamin is aligned with Judah in the south. Brothers against brothers, a civil war, a divided nation. Abijah, the great grandson of David, has taken 400,000 trained warriors to the north and has called out Jeraboam, who has 800,000 trained warriors at his command. Abijah ascends the Mount Zemaraim in the hill country of Ephraim, and he calls out to Jereboam and his army, "Don't you realize that the Lord God of Israel has given David and his dynasty lasting dominion over Israel by a formal agreement." He is telling the northern tribes that they are breaking covenant with the House of David and with the God of Israel and they are rebelling against God. He tells them they are aligning themselves with lawless good for nothing men who are rebelling against the Davidic dynasty. He further says that the northern tribes have brought with them their fake gods, the golden calves, and that they have rejected the Lord's priests. Abijah says, "But as for us, the Lord is our God and we have not rejected him."
Abijah knows he's outnumbered two to one, but he is full of holy boldness and he has God on his side. Then he makes this statement. "Aaron's descendants serve as the Lord's priest and the Levites assist them with the work. They offer burnt sacrifice unto the Lord every morning and every evening, along with fragrant incense. They arrange the Bread of the Presence on a ritually clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. Certainly we are observing our God'sregulations but you have rejected him."
"Now look, God is with us as our leader. His priest are ready to blow the trumpets to signal the attack against you. You Israelites don't fight against the Lord God of your ancestors. You will not win!" Wow, what a speech. Now Jeroboam had sent part of his army to sneak around the army of Judah to attack them from behind. When Judah saw that they were being ambushed from behind they cried out unto the Lord and sounded the trumpets. They gave a mighty shout and the Lord attacked the army of Israel and Jeroboam. And destroyed his army as the men of Judah chased them from city to city and slew 500,000 men of war in Israel.
The battle cannot be won solely on the basis of the wickedness of the enemy, but more so on the righteous position of the people of God. Abijah pointed out that their strength wasn't in their numbers, but rather their keeping of the covenant with God.