The nation of Israel was unique in that God took a special interest in the descendants of Abraham, and in particular, the 12 sons of Jacob and caused them to settle in a land that had been promised to them hundreds of years earlier. As God developed the nation of Israel and caused it to grow, his people became known throughout the surrounding nations because of the way God blessed them.
After the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians and the people of Judah were told they would be taken into captivity in Babylon, there was doubt about the future. God assured his people that he wasn’t finished with them. Through Isaiah he said, “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name: thou art mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
Looking forward to the day when God’s eternal kingdom would be established, God declared, “Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, yea, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:6-7). During an unspecified period of time, God’s people would be scattered throughout the world, but their identity as God’s children would be preserved and eventually, they would return to their land.
The primary focus of God’s future work was a re-creation of what was once the nation of Israel. As God had established his presence in the Promised Land, so he would make himself known throughout the earth by the redemption of his people. In order to distinguish himself from all other deities, God intended to show the world his glory by dying for the sins of all people (Isaiah 43:10-11).