14 May 2023 AM – 2 Kings 18:2 – Mother’s Day – Scott Childs
Introduction: How many of you know who the Bible character, Queen Abi, was? __ Few Christians know about, Queen Abi. Approximately 730 years before the time of Christ, the Bible introduces us to this young mother named Abi (or Abijah). She was a young Jewish woman married to a young prince named Ahaz. Though she did not know it at the time, one day, her son would become one of the greatest kings in Israel’s history.
Transition: What does the Bible tell us about Queen Abi that can be of encouragement to mothers today? The scriptures reveal three facts about Queen Abi that answer this question for us.
Because God does not tell us much about Queen Abi, I will make some assumptions based on the facts that God has given us. I am not trying to read into the Scriptures, but I am assuming that the implied information is true. Though this sermon is for mothers, it contains biblical principles for each of us.
1. Queen Abi learned to fear God in her youth
a. She was the daughter of Zachariah.
1) Zachariah (or Zechariah) was a common name in Israel. . God does not clearly identify this man. However, the date, Abi’s name and her character give us several helpful clues.
2) At that time in history, Zachariah, the son of Jeroboam, was king over Israel. He was a godless man who was assassinated after just 6 months as king (2Ki 15:8-10). It is unlikely that he was Abi’s father because he was godless and not identified as Zachariah, the king of Israel.
3) Isaiah mentions another Zachariah in Isaiah 8:2 that is more likely Abi’s father. He was a faithful witness and help to Isaiah.
b. Her name indicates that she had godly parents.
1) Abi (or Abijah) means Jehovah is my Father. It is unlikely that a God-rejecting parent would name their daughter “Jehovah is my Father”!
2) Because names were significant in Bible days, we can assume that her parents were God-fearing people.
3) Abi’s influence as a mother indicates that her parents reared her according to her name. She likely leaned to fear and obey God from early childhood.
4) If you were privileged to be reared by godly parents, you have great reason to rejoice. If you were not reared by godly parents, you can praise God that since that time you have heard the truth. Many have not yet heard.
5) One’s youthful years are a foundation for his life, either good or bad. If you have children who still live under your roof, your number-one ministry for the Lord is to reach their hearts with the Gospel and to teach them to live in the fear of the Lord. Nothing trumps that ministry!
Queen Abi learned to fear God in her youth.
2. Queen Abi remained true to God, though married to an unbeliever.
a. Abi married King Ahaz.
1) Parents often arranged marriages in those days. We know nothing about the arrangements for Abi’s marriage. We do know that Ahaz’s father, Jotham, was a good king. Perhaps he chose Abi, this godly young woman, for his son Ahaz!
2) All we know for certain is that she became the wife of Ahaz in his youth.
3) Ahaz was NOT a godly king. In fact, he was an ungodly king. He did much evil. He sacrificed one of his sons to a pagan god. He sacrificed in high places rather than in Jerusalem (2Ki 16:2-4). He hired the Assyrians to help him in battle (2Ch 28:16). He built an altar like a pagan altar to replace the one in the Temple (2Ki 16:11).
4) Ahaz was a godless man who knew better. He knew the truth, but he rejected it.
b. Abi feared God despite her husband’s unbelief.
1) From what God tells us, we assume that Abi lived a God-fearing life though married to this godless husband.
2) He may have made life difficult for her. Ahaz may have sacrificed one of her sons to the pagan gods.
3) Some of you are married to an unbelieving spouse or to one that claims to know the Lord, but does not live for the Lord. You know how hard this can be.
4) Marriage to an unbeliever is difficult. Unbelieving spouses can be unloving, unkind, unthoughtful, uncaring, bitter, unforgiving, resentful, hateful, domineering, harsh, vengeful, etc. You may have conflicts over viewing habits, goals, child-rearing, etc. Sadly, many Christian marriages struggle with these same things. That ought not to be!
5) If you are married, you are a sinner married to a sinner. That is tough. However, if you are married to an unbelieving sinner, it is even more difficult.
6) Keeping yourself in close fellowship with God takes work. Whether you are married to a godly believer, a carnal believer, an unbeliever, or you are a widow, keeping in close fellowship with God always takes work. What is needed?
a) We must know the Lord as our Saviour. (Explain)
b) We each need a quality quiet time alone with God each day in which we study the Bible and pray. You cannot stay in close fellowship with God without this!
c) We each need to confess all sin to God, and seek the forgiveness of anyone against whom we have sinned.
d) We must love the Lord more than we love others, accept the hardships of the Christian life, follow Christ, and forsake our personal ambitions to please God (Luke 14:25-33).
It appears that Abi remained true to God despite her husband’s ungodliness.
3. Queen Abi was a godly influence on her son.
a. We must assume that Abi pointed her son to God.
1) Her son, Hezekiah, certainly did not become a godly young man through the influence of his father Ahaz.
2) Ahaz may have influenced him to curse, swear and pray to false gods, but he certainly did not teach him to fear Jehovah God. He did not teach him to live for God’s glory.
3) Ahaz provided his son with the wealth and finery of the royal palace, but he gave him nothing to promote his piety.
4) We assume that it was the influence of his godly mother Abi that taught young Hezekiah the Scriptures and the fear of the Lord. It was her instruction and chastening that led him in the paths of righteousness. It was her loving, but stern, warnings that kept him from following the paths of sin.
5) If your spouse is working against you in the rearing of your children for the Lord, do not despair. Be faithful. Teach them God’s Word. Live it out before them. Seek to lead them to repentance and faith in Christ. And don’t forget to pray. God is “… able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” (Ephesians 3:20).
b. Her son, Hezekiah, became a good king.
1) Hezekiah was only 25 years old when his father died, and he was crowned king.
2) Though his father was a godless king, Hezekiah became one of the best kings to reign in Judah (Read v.3-6). What made the difference in his life? I believe that we can safely assume that much of the credit lies at the feet of his dear mother, Abi.
3) Mothers, whether your husband is godly or ungodly, you can have a huge impact on your children for God. Let God make you an influential, godly mother today.
Conclusion: Queen Abi learned to fear God in her youth. There will never be a better time to learn to fear God than right now. Queen Abi remained true to God, though married to an unbeliever. If you are married to a godly man, build him up spiritually. If you are married to an ungodly husband, by God’s grace, remain true to God. Let your light shine for the Lord. Do not let the devil (nor your husband) get you down spiritually. Queen Abi was a godly influence on her son. This is something that every Christian mother can do. In fact, it is a duty that every Christian mother MUST do. Your example, instruction and prayer may save your children from untold heartache.
None of us can be the godly example we ought to be until we place our faith in Jesus Christ. Religion will never do what only faith in Jesus can do.