The Destiny of Israel Chapter Two
As we consider Israel’s destiny in the light of the promises of God, it is well for us to consider that the Birthright Promises that fell upon Ephraim, and the Promises of God regarding the Scepter not departing from Judah, and the promises made to Ishmael, are all unconditional with regards to the recipients. This is because the promises were not made to the recipients, but to the respective patriarchs or matriarch. The promises made concerning Ishmael becoming a multitude were actually made to Hagar and were not dependent on Ishmael’s obedience. Gen 16:10-12 Also the promise of Ishmael begetting 12 princes and of him becoming a great nation. This promise was actually made to Abraham. Gen 17:20
There are other promises of God made to the Children of Israel which were conditional; the Blessings and the Curses of Deut 28 and Lev 26 being the most definitive. However, the Promises regarding the Birthright and the Scepter were something that God would accomplish despite the conduct of the descendants so that God would be able to say, “Not according to your righteousness do I do this for you, but because of My Holy Name.”
As we continue with this study, we will see from the scriptures the unfolding of God’s dealings with Israel.
Part 5. The Great Divide
God’s promise to give the land of the Canaanites to the descendants of Abraham would seem to have been fulfilled, and for a time the Promised Land was definitely under their control. Yet when David had conquered all his enemies and the Lord had given him peace and he was contemplating building a house for the Lord, the prophet Nathan came to him. Amongst other words came this promise concerning Israel; 2 Samuel 7:10 “Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore…” Here we have Israel in the Promised Land, with Judah, and the Lord is saying through the prophet to David that He ‘will appoint a place for My people Israel’.
Even before the kingdom was divided, God made reference in the scriptures to the reality of the Two Houses, Judah and Israel. Note also these verses: Joshua 11:21; 1 Samuel 11:8; 17:52; 18:16; 2 Samuel 2:10; 3:10; 5:5; 11:11; 12:8; 19:11,40,41,42,43; 20:2; 21:2; 24:1,9; 1 Kings 1:35; 2:32; 4:20,25;
God had a purpose and a plan to fulfill all his promises to the sons Jacob and the sons of Joseph whom Jacob had adopted to be called by his name. The Birthright Blessing, that was taken from Reuben because he defiled his father’s bed, was placed upon Ephraim who would would also be called Israel. Gen 48:16.
So after Solomon did great evil in the sight of the Lord, God began the process of separating Israel from Judah. We find that story in 1 Kings Chapters 11 and 12.
Interestingly, when Solomon’s son Reheboam sought to squash the apparent rebellion led by Jereboam, the prophet declared, “Thus says the Lord: “You shall not go up nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel. Let every man return to his house, for this thing is from Me.”’” Therefore they obeyed the word of the Lord, and turned back, according to the word of the Lord.”
Yes, the dividing of the children of Israel into two kingdoms was of the Lord. And in response to Jeroboam’s idolatry, the Lord promised that they would be scattered beyond the River (The Euphrates) a promise that was fulfilled painfully when Israel’s continued apostasy resulted in them being taken captive and removed from the land many years later by the Assyrians. 2 Kings 17
Part 6. The Two House Reality
The following scripture references are instances where Israel and Judah, or Ephraim and Judah, or Joseph and Judah are used together in the Word of God and clearly indicate TWO separate entities.
Joshua 11:21; 1 Samuel 11:8; 17:52; 18:16; 2 Samuel 2:10; 3:10; 5:5; 11:11; 12:8; 19:11,40,41,42,43; 20:2; 21:2; 24:1,9; 1 Kings 1:35; 2:32; 4:20,25; 12:17,20,21; 15:9,17,25,33; 16:8,23,29; 22:2,10,29,41,51; 2 Kings 3:1,9; 8:16,25; 9:21; 13:1,10,12; 14:1,9,11,12,13,15,17,23,28; 15:1,8,17,23,27,32; 17:1,13,18,19; 18:1,5; 22:18; 23:22,27; 1 Chronicles 5:17; 9:1; 13:6; 21:5; 28:4; 2 Chronicles 10:17; 11:1,3; 13:15,16,18; 15:9; 16:1,11; 18:3,9,28; 20:35; 21:13; 23:2; 24:5,6,9; 25:17,18,21,22,23,25,26; 27:7; 28:19,26; 30:1,6,25; 31:1,6; 32:32; 34:9,21; 35:18,27; 36:8; Psalms 76:1; 114:2; Isaiah 5:7; 7:1; 11:12; 48:1; Jeremiah 3:8,11,18; 5:11; 9:26; 11:10,17; 12:14; 13:11; 23:6; 30:3,4; 31:23,27,31; 32:30,32; 33:7,14; 36:2; 50:4,20,33; 51:5; Lamentations 2:5; Ezekiel 9:9; 25:3; 27:17; 37:16,19; Daniel 9:7; Hosea 1:1,11; 4:15; 5:5; 8:14; 11:12; Amos 1:1; Micah 1:5; 5:2; Zechariah 1:19; 8:13; 11:14; Malachi 2:11.
There are about 180 scriptures in all that speak on this subject, about 160 are mentioned above. There are also other scriptures which speak of Israel or Jacob, and the historical and scriptural context refers not to the House of Judah, but to the House of Israel whose destiny we are exploring. It has already been noted that some of the above scriptures identify the two separate houses of the Children of Israel even before they were divided from each other.
Although the history of both Israel and Judah are very similar in that they were both banished from the Promised Land because of their apostasy, the fulfillment of the Birthright Promises to Ephraim meant that their history would ultimately be different. But in the future there will be a coming together of their individual paths because other promises of God that are for them jointly will also be fulfilled. That we will get to as we progress further with this study.
Stay tuned for The Destiny of Israel Chapter Three