Jotham then Ahaz rule Judah; Israel and Aram attack Ahaz, who doesn’t quite listen to Isaiah’s promise and buys the help of the Assyrians instead of trusting God: 2 Kings 15:32−38; 2 Chronicles 27:1−9; Micah 1:1−16; 2 Kings 16:1−6; 2 Chronicles 28:1−4; Isaiah 7:1−25; 2 Kings 16:7−9; 2 Chronicles 28:5−15; 2 Kings 15:30−31
Ahaz, the grandson of Uzziah, was not a ‘good’ king:
2 Kings 16:2-3 He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord his God, Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel, even sacrificing his own son in the fire.
Even so, God was prepared to work with him.
With Judah facing the prospect of invasion by Israel (King Pekah) and Syria (King Rezin), there was a way out for him:
Isaiah 7:7-9This invasion will never happen;
it will never take place;
for Syria is no stronger than its capital, Damascus,
and Damascus is no stronger than its king, Rezin.
As for Israel, within sixty-five years
it will be crushed and completely destroyed.
Israel is no stronger than its capital, Samaria,
and Samaria is no stronger than its king, Pekah son of Remaliah.
Unless your faith is firm,
I cannot make you stand firm.
Let’s call it plan A: trust God, get saved from invasion.
What eventually happened was more of a plan B, or even a plan Z (or no plan at all).
Ahaz’s faith in God was not firm:
2 Kings 16:7-8 King Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria with this message: ‘I am your servant and your vassal. Come up and rescue me from the attacking armies of Aram and Israel.’ Then Ahaz took the silver and gold from the Temple of the Lord and the palace treasury and sent it as a payment to the Assyrian king.
It looked good on paper, so to speak, but it backfired spectacularly. Although the literal cause of Ahaz’s downfall was his chasing after other gods, his reliance on Assyria rather than on God would have had to have played a role:
2 Chronicles 28:5 … the Lord his God allowed the king of Aram to defeat Ahaz and to exile large numbers of his people to Damascus. The armies of the king of Israel also defeated Ahaz and inflicted many casualties on his army.
Shortly afterwards, and as a result of the alliance:
2 Kings 16:9So the king of Assyria attacked the Aramean capital of Damascus and led its population away as captives, resettling them in Kir. He also killed King Rezin.
We don’t know what happened to the Judean exiles in Damascus.