In this passage, it is easy to look at the first verse and focus on the wrath of God that is coming across (see "I will destroy it from the face of the earth"). However, when God spoke, he followed with a "yet." This means there is a caveat. Somehow, the wrath and justice of God has something preventing everyone from being destroyed. I believe that what is truly on display in this passage is the connection between God's justice and mercy.
With all the destruction that happens in accordance with this passage, God is on display as one who restores. God wants to destroy "the sinful kingdom." I believe God desires this for us on a personal level as well. God wants to rid of us our sin (destroy the thing that destroys us), and rebuild us in those spots that have long been strongholds in our lives.
God is extending his mercy to us so that we don't have to be subject to just one side of God. We can step into the fullness of who God is in accordance to both his justice and mercy. God has plans to rebuild and restore the places in our lives that have been places of destruction for our own lives. Praise God that He offers us freedom from the things that destroy us!
God, I pray that I would turn to you to take away the things in my life that are not from you. Take the strongholds that have been a part of my life for a long time. I want the freedom and mercy you offer so show me how to give myself to what you have for me. Amen.
- Daniel Bailey