What had happened to the Northern Kingdom? You’re not going to believe this of Guernsey and Jersey but in BC 732 the Northern Kingdom went to war against the Southern Kingdom because it wouldn’t co-operate in a fight against the huge Assyrian Empire. Amazingly, the Southern Kingdom then called on the Assyrian Empire to help them against the North. Emperor Sargon II was happy to oblige. He devastated the North in BC 722 in exchange for an annual tax levy payable by the South. Jersey? Guernsey?
What then happened to the Southern Kingdom? They willingly paid the tax levy which Assyria had demanded of them - at first. Then they stopped. Angered by that, Assyria totally destroyed, in BC 701, all the cities of the South except Jerusalem. Jerusalem “merely” suffered a terrible siege.
Within Jerusalem after the siege ended lived Isaiah and his wife and family. The words in bold above set out his answer to a question we often ask: “Why?” Why were things so bad? Isaiah was given the answer – see bold above. It all originated in intangible things – in matters of justice, truth, uprightness, in the fact that whistleblowers were either silent or dead.
The closing words in bold above disclose the LORD’s view of “things”. It displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man. He marveled that there was no one to intercede.
What Isaiah wrote next is what the LORD God would actually do about this dire situation in the world of BC 700. Then his own arm brought him salvation. His righteousness upheld him. Justice would be done.
But not without mercy. Abundant mercy would always and at all times accompany God’s justice.