Saturday, November 15, 2014


(Please scroll down to read parts 1 and 2)


The principle difficulty concerning the return of Israel to the Promised Land is this:  The Ten Tribes were deported into the ancient land of Assyria over 2700 years ago.  I am quite certain that for a few, and perhaps for several generations, the individual Israelites could have named from what tribe (or tribes) they originated.

However, no genealogical records of the tribes after that time have ever been discovered, and quite honestly, we do not even know what happened to the people.  It can be assumed that the Israelites were either assimilated into the local population, or, when they had the opportunity, made an exodus as an individual tribe or group of tribes to another land in which to live.

It is this latter point, which has given rise to all manner of fantastic conjecture and claims of the “discovery” of some lost tribe of Israel in some distant corner of the globe.  We shall mention some of these in a later post in this series.

But the former point of the Israelites being assimilated into the local population is no less difficult.  God had placed very strong sanctions in the Old Testament against His chosen people intermarrying with the pagan nations (Deuteronomy 7:3-4 among other scriptures.)
        If the Israelites lost their ethnic and blood line by assimilation into ungodly societies, in so doing, they would have demonstrated their unfaithfulness and their disobedience to the LORD God. This would have brought serious consequences from God.
Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD which He loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.  As for the man who does this, may the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob everyone who awakes and answers, or who presents an offering to the LORD of hosts (Malachi 2:11-12 NAS).
There seems to be no simple solution that would explain how God will deal with this difficulty of reestablishing the Ten Tribes, which, no doubt, is a difficulty for us but not for Him.  The simplistic answer for us is perhaps the best, which is to say that God has preserved His remnant.  Even though we cannot see it, God has His people and His plan perfectly intact.

       In this regard we are somewhat like Elijah when he did not see all that God was doing and did not know about the remnant of faithful ones that the Lord had preserved. Elijah believed he was the only one left who had not forsaken God. He told the Lord, “I alone am left, and they seek my life to take it away.”
       But God corrected Elijah. He told the prophet,   “I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
(1 Kings 19:18 NAS).
However, the question concerning the return of the Ten Tribes is not unimportant to us, because also like Elijah, we have allowed the fact that we do not see what God is doing to affect our perspective of what is real.  This lack of understanding can give us a false impression both of the actual situation and in our perception of what God is doing. It will also affect our views on eschatology.

Of course, we cannot expect to reach any definitive conclusion in this short series of posts that will be satisfactory to all. Nevertheless, it is good to consider what we have been shown in Scripture without allowing ourselves to be carried away by mere speculation, as persuasive as some of these speculative theories may be.
In the next post I will talk about the distinction made in the New Testament between the literal Israel, and the spiritual Israel.


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