AROUND Israel were enemy nations that were intent on seizing its inheritance. Would Israel be swallowed up? As long as Israel remained faithful, it had the decisive edge. “Jehovah himself was fighting for Israel.”—Jos 10:14.
This was graphically demonstrated during the rule of King Jehoshaphat (936-c. 911 B.C.E.). The combined forces of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir came against Judah. Jehoshaphat appealed to Jehovah: “Here they are . . . coming in to drive us out from your possession that you caused us to possess. O our God, will you not execute judgment upon them?” Indeed He would! Judah was assured: “The battle is not yours, but God’s.” Jehovah confused the enemy, causing them to slaughter one another.—2Ch 20:1-23.
Finally, after centuries of fighting for Israel, Jehovah allowed enemy nations to conquer it. In 740 B.C.E. the Assyrians brought the ten-tribe kingdom to an end “because the sons of Israel had sinned against Jehovah.” (2Ki 17:7-18) Then in 607 B.C.E., for its disobedience the two-tribe kingdom was destroyed by the Babylonians. (2Ki 21:10-15; 22:16, 17) This period of Israel’s history emphasizes the importance of obeying Jehovah.