One of the reasons God sent the nation of Israel into captivity was to get rid of all the people that didn’t believe in him. Captivity was a type of refining process that enabled God to work with only those who wanted to be a part of his kingdom. Particularly in the northern kingdom of Israel, there were many people that wanted nothing to do with God. Event the priests and prophets were willing to lie in order to lead the people away from God rather than to him.
Focusing on the time period when the Messiah’s kingdom would be established, Isaiah stated, “In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty unto the residue of his people” (Isaiah 28:5). We know this time period has not yet taken place because Jesus was rejected and killed by the people of Israel and his followers were scattered throughout the world after his death. The reason being, the Jews didn’t understand God’s plan of salvation included everyone.
God had revealed his plan, but his people misunderstood and rejected his messages. Isaiah explained the situation as though his people perceived God’s word to be childish nonsense. “But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little, that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken” (Isaiah 28:13).
A clue that Christ’s arrival on earth would not immediately clarify God’s intentions and initiate his reign was the declaration that a foundation must first be laid before God’s kingdom could be erected. Isaiah declared, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation. He that believeth shall not make haste” (Isaiah 28:16).
The sure foundation Isaiah referred to was the process of salvation, which is now known as being born again. Whereas God’s people were originally determined by birth, according to the Lord, the Messiah’s kingdom would be determined by a deliverance from death. “And your covenant with death shall be annulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand” (Isaiah 28:18).
In his effort to cleanse the world of sin, God planned to show everyone it was possible to change the course of one’s life. The key to change was believing. Unfortunately, the majority of the Israelites didn’t believe and missed their opportunity to be saved. “Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth (Isaiah 28:22).