2 Chronicles 13:5—Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David forever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?
Abijah inherited the throne of Judah after his father Rehoboam’s death. When war came between the northern tribes of Israel and southern Judah, Abijah found his troops were outnumbered two to one. He climbed a hill and shouted out to the army of Israel the above passage. He had this conviction because he knew God had promised the kingdom to David’s lineage and sealed the promise with a covenant. Little explanation is given in Scripture about the salt covenant, but we can piece together from other texts what it must have meant. When two parties sat down and ate salted bread, they entered into a peace agreement. It implied that they were friends and were bound to defend one another. When did David do this with God? It was when he ate the shewbread while fleeing from Saul. God promised to make David king and later promised his descendents would reign. Abijah was reminding Israel that God was on their side because God keeps His word. He went on to describe how their leader, Jeroboam, had forsaken God and made his own gods. If that weren’t enough to cause them to doubt, he described how you could buy the priesthood with a certain number of sacrifices. While Abijah was declaring his right to rule, Israel was sending troops behind him. Suddenly Israel attacked from both directions, but the house of Judah had placed their trust in God. When they shouted out their battle cry, God turned the troops of Israel. Abijah’s troops soundly defeated Israel that day, destroying over half their army. In our day, the idea of having God on your side is laughed at. It still makes the difference.