A treasured possession.
“You have today declared the Lord to be your God, and to walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and to listen to His voice. The Lord has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep all of His commandments; and that He will set you high above all the nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the Lord your God, as He has spoken.” (Deuteronomy 26:17-19)
Some would say, “That didn’t last!” All of the nations know of the shame and judgement of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah. History records their idolatry, destruction by sword and famine, captivity and dispersion from the promise land. The 30th chapter of 2 Chronicles clearly states that some members of the northern tribes remained on the land after Assyria conquered them. So, even though most of the living were driven off to distant lands, it is an error to say that all of the house of Israel were lost.
King Hezekiah sent messengers to invite the remnant of their northern brothers to the Passover in Jerusalem. “So the runners passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. Nevertheless some men of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.” (2 Chronicles 30:10-11)
Scripture is quiet regarding the fate of Jeremiah, the king’s daughters and the remnant of Judah. It only states the Jeremiah had the permission of the Babylonian general to go wherever he wanted. “….’Look, the whole land is before you go wherever it seems good and right for you to go.” (Jeremiah 40:4) That Jeremiah led this band to those who for the last one hundred thirty years had been scattered is not verified by Scripture. This is a Myth, the Legend or theory neither supported by nor disproved in Scripture.
The fact that God kept His promise to David remains a matter of faith. “For thus says the LORD; ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel.” (Jeremiah 33 17) “Until Shiloh (the sent one) comes” (Genesis 49:10) How this prophecy was fulfilled can only be guessed.
Who belongs to the house of Israel today is a mystery known only to God. The fact that they do exist is because of who they are, “a treasured possession.” They were not able to live as they declared they would. Without faithfulness they failed, but God is faithful and able to do as He declares. He has proved Himself over and over to be faithful to His word.
The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel instructing him in what to do and say. “…. Take for yourself one stick and write on it ‘For Judah and for the sons of Israel, his companions’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For joseph, the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel, his companions.’ Then join them for yourself one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand.”
When the sons of your people speak to you saying, ‘Will you not declare to us what you mean by these?’ say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will put them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.'” (Ezekiel 37:16-19)
God doesn’t just know who and where His “treasured possession” is, He will also make them holy. (Jeremiah 31) A kingdom divided will be united. The dispersed will be gathered to join their brothers. David will once again sit on his throne and our Lord Jesus, of the tribe of Judah, will hold the scepter in His hand.
“Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forever. For Your loving kindness toward me is great, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.” (Psalm 86:11-13)
I hope and pray that God’s wonderful tapestry, as it appears in Scripture, is more clearly seen and appreciated. The end.