The year was 722 BC.

“Now the king of Assyria went throughout all the land, and…took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria…” 2 Kings 17:5-6.

Samaria was the name for the northern area of Israel and subsequently represented the northern tribes of Israel.

Some may ask why God would allow that to happen.

“For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God…and walked in the statutes of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before the children of Israel…” 2 Kings 17:7-8a.

Thus Israel had sinned, but they had been warned numerous times beginning in 1405 BC of the consequences of forsaking God and His commandments.

“But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments…The LORD will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known…” Deuteronomy 28:15a, 36.

A detailed part of the law was that the Israelites were not to offer their new born children to the pagan god Molech.

However:

“And they built the high places to Baal…to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination…” Jeremiah 32:35.

The Jews killed their infant firstborn sons and daughters and burned them in the fire to a pagan god.

Then in 701 BC, when Hezekiah was king of southern Judah, the king of Assyria set his sights on Jerusalem.

Assyria sieged Jerusalem and the king sent his emissary to speak to the people.

Thus says the king: “Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he shall not be able to deliver you from his hand; nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, ‘the LORD will surely deliver us; this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’” 2 Kings 18:29-30.

King Hezekiah was worried and sent his servants to inquire of the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah’s words:

“Thus you shall say to your master… ‘Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.’” 2 Kings 19:6.

Then Hezekiah himself inquired of his LORD God.

“Now therefore, O LORD our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God…” 2 Kings 19:19.

Then Isaiah sent God’s reply to Hezekiah regarding His message to Assyria’s king.

“Whom have you reproached and blasphemed: Against whom have you raised your voice, and lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel.” 2 Kings 19:22.

Subsequently Isaiah spoke more of God’s sovereignty over the king of Assyria.

“Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My wrath I will give him charge.” Isaiah 10:5-6.

God planned all along to use Assyria to punish Israel for their sins. Then God proclaims that Assyria could only do what God had allowed him to do.

The king of Assyria thought that it was by his power that he had conquered nations.

“Yet he does not mean so, nor does his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy, and cut off not a few nations.” Isaiah 10:7.

The result when the king of Assyria sieged Jerusalem?

“Then the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians 185,000…” Isaiah 37:36.

In future history books, our grandchildren will read:

The year was 2022 AD.

“There is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9c.

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