Right may indeed go by the worst for a time, but it will prevail at last. The battle is ours, if God be for us.
II Chronicles 13
1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah.
2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.
3 And Abijah set the battle in array with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen men: Jeroboam also set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, being mighty men of valour.
4 ¶ And Abijah stood up upon mount Zemaraim, which is in mount Ephraim, and said, Hear me, thou Jeroboam, and all Israel;
5 Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?
6 Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, is risen up, and hath rebelled against his lord.
7 And there are gathered unto him vain men, the children of Belial, and have strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them.
8 And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David; and ye be a great multitude, and there are with you golden calves, which Jeroboam made you for gods.
9 Have ye not cast out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands? so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of them that are no gods.
10 But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and the priests, which minister unto the LORD, are the sons of Aaron, and the Levites wait upon their business:
11 And they burn unto the LORD every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the shewbread 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 the LORD our God; but ye have forsaken him.
12 And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.
13 ¶ But Jeroboam caused an ambushment to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambushment was behind them.
14 And when Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind: and they cried unto the LORD, and the priests sounded with the trumpets.
15 Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.
16 And the children of Israel fled before Judah: and God delivered them into their hand.
17 And Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men.
18 Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the LORD God of their fathers.
19 And Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Beth-el with the towns thereof, and Jeshanah with the towns thereof, and Ephrain with the towns thereof.
20 Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and the LORD struck him, and he died.
21 ¶ But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives, and begat twenty and two sons, and sixteen daughters.
22 And the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the story of the prophet Iddo.
II Chronicles 13 – J. Vernon McGee
II Chronicles 13:14—Behold, the battle was before and behind.
Abijah’s address is full of true and noble utterances, especially when he describes God as being the Captain of the Host; and this spirit soon permeated his people, so that when the battle was sorest, and they were hemmed in by their foes, it was natural for them to turn to the Lord, and for the priests to give a blast on the trumpets, like that with which the new moon and the solemn feasts were inaugurated.
The point for us to remember is that our enemies may shut us in on all sides, preventing reinforcements from north, south, east, and west; but no earthly power can ever shut off God from above us. The way upward is always kept clear; the ladder which links the beleaguered soul with God and heaven can never be blocked, except by transgression and sin.
The Priest is always with thee, child of God. His help is always at hand. Neither death, nor, life, nor height, nor depth, nor principalities, nor powers, can ever separate thee from the down-coming of God’s love.
The battle is often before and behind. From behind come memories of past failure, the consequences of mistakes, the misunderstandings which have alienated us from others, and made it difficult for us to live as we would; on the other hand perplexities and anxieties seem to bar our future path. But when the battle is before and behind, remember that God besets His people behind and before, and covers them with His hand. The invisible film of His protection makes the soul invulnerable. The life that is hid with Christ in God is beyond the reach of harm. —Our Daily Homily