For this is what the LORD says:
“When I sold you into exile,
I received no payment.
Now I can redeem you
without having to pay for you.”
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Long ago my people chose to live in Egypt. Now they are oppressed by Assyria. What is this?” asks the LORD. “Why are my people enslaved again? Those who rule them shout in exultation. My name is blasphemed all day long. But I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them.” (Isaiah 52:3-6)
What’s a nice person like you doing in a place like this? God points out that his people are where they are because of their own free choice. God didn’t get paid for sending them to exile and so it wouldn’t cost him anything to get them out of it, either. They went to Assyria because of their idolatry and because of their mistreatment of the poor and powerless. They had been warned prior to their exile that if they kept up their bad behavior that the Assyrians would come and take them away. They had freely chosen to ignore both Moses and the prophets after him.
No problem, however. God would rescue them anyhow, if for no other reason than to silence those who blasphemed and rejoiced over the suffering of his people. Both the new slave masters and his enslaved people would come to know God’s power—once again—and once again, they would recognize the one true God. Never again would the Israelites worship any other God than Yahweh.
God will rescue us, and not just because we don’t want to hurt anymore, but because of what we mean to him. It really is all about God.