I grew up in a time in Jamaica when crime was low and the fear of "duppies" (demons - thought to be the spirits of the dead) abounded. Many were the stories about special types of demons ( the rolling-calf, and the black-heart man) that literally drove fear into you: you were definitely afraid to sleep alone; and if you were never able to convince one of your siblings to go outside with you during the night, you'd move with a speed and dispatch that would make Usain Bolt look modest during a 100 metre dash (back in the day that would have been Donald Quarry - the Usain Bolt of those days). That speed would often include taking a bath on the back step of our house as well. These fears and superstitions made us easy preys of many a prank of persons posing as "duppies." But there would be those occasional times when you'd figure out that it is someone trying to play a prank on you so you'd flop their attempts with a bath of water, or sometimes with stones or some other type of missile. Thanks to the light of the Word of God, those dark days are over. Sadly though, there are some people who still live with features of these unfounded fears.
Friends, the seeming dominance of the arch enemy is only a scare-tactic that has no real inherent threat. So whenever we seem surrounded we only need to shout in praise to our great Deliverer. Mind you, the blows he'll deliver may go so far as to cause our death (and many horrible things before that), but the reassuring words of our Master is, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Matt 10: 28. Nothing will befall us except by His divine consent, and things happen it will all be for our good (Rom 8:28).
No Room for Self-Righteousness
Although Abijah was successful against Jeroboam we must be careful not take his seeming enumeration of his faithfulness, as opposed to Jeroboam's open apostasy, to the level of the Pharisee Jesus spoke of in Luke 18: 10-14, "...God I thank thee that I am not as other men...." Jesus closes that story with the the words, "for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." Let's remember it's never about us, but about faithfulness to God who has been forever faithful.
This is based on 2 Chronicles 13. To read or listen to this Bible passage and read other related blogs click here.