A scant 17 years after destroying Samaria, capital of Israel in the Divided Kingdom, the Assyrian capital of Nineveh was sacked and burned by the Babylonians.
How could such a powerful and feared kingdom find itself reduced to ashes so quickly? God had used Assyria to take Israel into captivity, but God’s judgment against Nineveh also fell with speed.
God told Isaiah, “Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it?” (Isaiah 10:15a). God used Assyria to produce the results he wanted. God used that nation’s power to affect his design.
Just as he used Assyria to his purposes, God would use Babylon to take the southern kingdom, Judah, into captivity. Only 125 years after northern Israel went away to Assyria, Babylon placed Jerusalem under siege and finally carted its people back to its capital for 70-years captivity.
God said after all of this was over, “the house of Jacob who have escaped will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel,” (Isaiah 10:20 NASB).
God loved his people. He wanted them to admit their sin and desired their reconciliation. This Ezra would do when he brought the remnant of Judah back in 445 B.C. God was preparing the restoration of his people even as they left for captivity. It was unfortunate that sin had clouded Israel and Judah’s judgment, or both might have spared themselves from the terrors of Assyria and Babylon.
God wants to show all compassion. He wants to save all of mankind (1 Timothy 1:15). God sent his son into the world to save sinners, and all of us have sinned (Matthew 1:21; Romans 6:23). He is waiting for you to decide to obey the gospel. What is your answer?