see, israel and judah have made some poor choices...lots of willful sinning, in fact...and as a result, God allowed them to be taken into captivity. his people. his precious, beloved people. so they're kind of scattered all over...in places like babylon, for one.
and even away from their homeland, God chooses to do some really cool things with individuals who are still seeking him. pagan kings hear testimony and see miracles as a result of God's people being flung about the world. pretty sweet. and God does not forget or neglect his people.
in fact, he longs for them. though they prostituted themselves with idols and other nations, he desires to be with them. he says multiple times that he is returning to them because he is passionate for them. and then he calls them to return to him.
he talks about how he allowed other nations to come in and attack his people, but they did far more damage than was necessary. he wanted to lovingly correct his people, not make them suffer like these other nations did. and so he redeems his people. he brings them back to him with strong, loving arms. he fights for their hearts.
he is in the restoration business. beautiful.
once a cheetah is 1-0