American Judah

tiglath-pileseriii“Assyria dominated the ancient world in the centuries before the exile of Judah. Sometime during the reign of Jeroboam II of Israel (832–792 bc), and probably toward the latter part of that reign, the Israelite prophet Jonah had been used by God to convert the city Nineveh and all its citizens to the worship of the true God. Jonah 3:5 and 4:11 indicate that God showed His mercy to the children of the city, so that we are entitled to assume that there were God-fearing people alive for the next seventy or so years in Assyria…

Eventually, however, Assyria returned to the path of war. The great Assyrian warrior Tiglath-Pileser III ruled from 745–727 bc. When he turned westward to conquer the region of Palestine, Rezin of Damascus and Pekah of Northern Israel formed a coalition against him. Evidently they sought to enlist Ahaz (“He Upholds,” probably from Yeho-Ahaz, “Yahweh Upholds”), King of Judah, but Ahaz refused. Rezin and Pekah invaded Judah, and against the advice of Isaiah, Ahaz turned to Tiglath-Pileser for help, sending him a large gift. Tiglath-Pileser immediately responded, conquering Syria and Israel, and making Judah a vassal state (2 Kings 15:29; 16:5–9; Isaiah 7; 2 Chronicles 28). Ahaz was required to introduce some Assyrian religious practices into Judah, and he was happy to do so (2 Kings 16:10–18). Meanwhile, Northern Israel rebelled against Assyria, and in 722/1 bc Tiglath-Pileser’s successors sacked and destroyed Samaria (2 Kings 17).

Notice the position of the people of Judah. They were both religiously and nationalistically disposed to oppose Assyria. Thus, the political conservatives and the religious conservatives could and did join hands against the internationalists and idolaters. The political conservatives wanted national freedom, while the religious conservatives wanted idolatry extirpated. 

This union of nationalistic conservatives and religious conservatives, which can be seen today in the United States, eventually caused the destruction of Judah, for it resulted in the corruption of a large part of the Remnant, leaving only a handful of faithful believers around such men as Jeremiah.”

James B. Jordan, The Handwriting on the Wall, p. 39-41.

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