Memory Verse: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” —Romans 11:25
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 30:1-10
Being unfaithful to God and the promise at Sinai, Israel went into Assyrian captivity and for the same cause the Jews went into captivity to Babylon for 70 years, (2 Kings 17:6; Jeremiah 25:8-11) but under the leadership of Ezra many returned to Canaan. Others migrated to various portions of the earth and when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 a.d., the surviving Jews were finally dispersed, and at the present time they are found in every country. As both Israel and Judah became like the Gentile world in their attitudes toward God and His Son, they were classed in unbelief. They were cast aside as a nation. However, as individuals, they are now acceptable on terms of the Gospel (Romans 10:8-11).
In their blindness and hardness of heart, they rejected God’s love and mercy, but God did not forget them and the blindness will be taken away. To fulfill the spiritual phase of the “everlasting covenant” with Abraham, his seed, that is the spiritual seed, will literally inherit the earth. God will yet honor His name and have a people who will be obedient to His will (Acts 15:14).
Since the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 a.d. the Jews with the earlier dispersed Israelites, have been “wanderers among the nations,” and are to continue until the ending of Gentile times (Hosea 9:17; Luke 21:24). In their wanderings they have been hated by nations and have suffered untold hardships, all according to prophetic utterances. Because of Israel’s disobedience to the first covenant their inheritance of Canaan was lost. The kingdoms of Judah and Israel were destroyed and the people were taken captive in a general and final dispersion into all nations. But, Israel will be re-gathered and by obedience under the new covenant, their eternal inheritance of the earth will be attained—the promise of the everlasting covenant made with Abraham. They are returning, though not because they are righteous, but because God is honoring His name and His word (Ezekiel 36:21-24).
Modern Israel became a state in 1948 with a lot of opposition as evidenced by threats and efforts of Arabs, to push the nation into the sea, this trouble will not end however, until it reaches its fullness in Armageddon—until Satan is bound at the return of Christ. From the human point of view, survival of this nation was and is in doubt by many, but God said that “they shall no more be pulled up out of their land” (Amos 9:15). While all but a “remnant” of Israel have been blinded to basic Scriptural truths, they will come to see their errors and repent when their blindness is removed at the end of Gentile times (Romans 11:8, 25-28; Isaiah 25:7-9). With the final struggle for possession of the ancient land will come also the struggles between the forces of good and evil. God will permit satanic forces to gather against Jerusalem to receive His indignation (Zephaniah 3:8). Jerusalem will be a “burdensome stone” besieged by military forces, but God will work, i.e. fight, for His people and save those who receive the “spirit of supplication” who seeing Christ as the One pierced, for they will mourn in bitterness (Zechariah 12:6-14; Zechariah 14:1-3).
The troubles of re-gathered Israel will serve as a refining fire and through submission to this refining process, they will call upon God and He will hear (Zechariah 13:9). A new heart will be given to them and they will walk in God’s statutes (Ezekiel 36:25-29), and in this new heart will be inscribed God’s law for the new covenant relationship is based upon God’s sure promise.
- Through Israel’s transgression of the old covenant their nation was lost, and they were eventually dispersed to all nations. What was said about their wickedness in Ezekiel 2:3-5, Jeremiah 24:8-10, and Romans 10:2-3?
- What was said in Amos 9:8-10 and Hosea 3:4-5 regarding Israel? What was recorded of this event in Deuteronomy 30:1-6?
- What advice did Moses give in Deuteronomy 10:16 and what will happen in the re-gathering of Israel? Deuteronomy 30:8-10. What further was said about Israel’s repentance in Zechariah 12:9-11?
- What positive statements concerning Israel’s re-gathering are found in Jeremiah 31:8-14? How are the dispersion and re-gathering of Israel shown in Ezekiel 39:23-29? Why will God do this for Israel? Ezekiel 36:21-28.
- How does Jeremiah 23:5-6 help locate the time of Israel’s re-gathering and what then will be said about the miracle of Israel’s return? Jeremiah 23:7-8; Jeremiah 16:14-15.
- What other events will transpire at the same time of Israel’s return? Joel 3:1-2; Zephaniah 3:8-9. What more is said of their re-gathering in Zechariah 12:2-3, 7-8?
- What was recorded regarding God’s future plan for Israel and concerning a change in the attitude of Israel and Judah then? Jeremiah 32:37-42; Jeremiah 50:4-5.
- What confession will be made by repenting Israel and Judah? Isaiah 25:9; Romans 11:25-28.
- Consequences for Israel’s transgressions have been great, for whose benefit was Israel blinded and cut-off? Romans 11:11-12.
- Who are the “other sheep” referred to in John 10:16 and Acts 15:14-17? Compare these verses with Isaiah 56:6-8.