Isaiah 10:5-6. “O Assyrian, the rod of Mine anger, and the staff in their hand is Mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.”
Repeatedly, Isaiah states that God’s hand is still stretched out. Some interpret this statement to mean that God was still offering mercy if only Israel would repent, but an accurate translation indicates that it is His hand stretched out in judgment, not in mercy. The time for mercy had passed, and judgment was in place.
This judgment was against “an hypocritical nation,” one that had chosen time after time to forsake God and turn to the idols of the nations surrounding them. Their possessions would be spoil for the Assyrians, and they themselves would be prey, hunted down like animals.
How horrifying it must have been for those Israelites, so taken up with their possessions and their pleasures, to find themselves destitute, their cities destroyed, left with nothing but the clothes on their backs as they were rounded up. Some were killed, some were taken captive. It was an awful time, and God used the heathen nation of Assyria to accomplish judgment on Israel.
It is easy for us to sit in our own comfort, tsking and shaking our heads; we need to understand that America today is not different, no better, than the Israel of that time. We, too, as a nation, are turning our backs on God.
We cannot expect His mercy when we reject His presence.