Antiochus’ Ancient Trust
Synopsis 1Maccabees 6:58-7:15 1/25/2021
After his father died, King Antiochus Eupator became king. He ruled with the help of his tutor, Lysias. Together the two men decided to crush the Jewish rebellion once and for all.
So, they assembled a massive army of more than one hundred twenty thousand men. And then, they invaded Judea.
Antiochus’ forces greatly outnumbered the Jews. Although the Jews fought valiently, Judas ended up leading his forces in retreat back into the mountains. So, Antiochus took Jerusalem without resistance.
However, the temple had been fortified. So, Antiochus besieged the temple mount. Although it looked hopeless for the Jews in the temple fortress, political intrigue changed everything.
During the siege, a man named Philip attempted to take over as king. So, Antiochus and Lysias quit their siege and made peace with the Jews so they could return to their capital and deal with Philip.
As a result, the Jews regained the right to practice their traditional religion.
When they returned to the capital, Antiochus and Lysias killed Philip. However, the next year another contender for the throne showed up. His name was Demetrius. And this time, Demetrius killed Antiochus and Lysias.
Almost immediately, Demetrius assigned Alcimus as the Jewish high priest and sent a military governor to enforce the assignment.
Philip swore and oath to Antiochus to help his son lead. And the king trusted Philip. However, Philip decided to use the opportunity to make himself king. This eroded Antiochus Eurpator’s authority. And it made him vulnerable to Demetrius.
In ironic contrast, the Jews trusted in God alone. So, Antiochus conducted a terrible siege against them. But in the end, God’s people prevailed because Philip was unfaithful.
Trusting in the faithfulness of another man always comes with risk. Will the other be faithful to their promises?
But a Christ follower knows that God is always sovereign, even in the affairs of men. And so, right conduct focuses on pleasing God even when conducting earthly affairs. In this way, even if other human beings fail, there is room for the wisdom and righteousness of God to form a testimony concerning His faithfulness.