Generation after generation, as they continued to rebel against Him, God sent His prophets to plead with His chosen people: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow….If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the [promised] land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it” (Isaiah:1:18-20). God did not want to punish His people (nor does He want to pour out His wrath upon this world), but He cannot condone evil. His pleadings with Israel came to an end at last – as they will with all mankind shortly. His holiness and righteousness required Him finally to punish Israel: “I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness….Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth” (Jeremiah:44:4-6).
Sadly, in spite of God’s pleadings for His people to return to Him with their whole heart, Israel has persisted to this day in unbelief and rebellion against Him and thus has missed the full blessing God graciously had promised to their forefathers. From the days of Moses to the present time, rebellious Israel has been under God’s judgment. Nevertheless, Israel’s full and final restoration (already in process) is assured, never to be under His judgment again – but only by God’s grace, not by her merits (Deuteronomy:7:6-8; Ezekiel:36:22, 32, etc.).