sermon: The Doctrine of Israel (Part Ten): Where Is Israel Today?
Biblical Directions to Modern Israel
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Given 11-Jul-20; Sermon #1553; 68 minutes
Even though God promises intensely not to forsake His flock, He will not budge an inch on sin, and was compelled to forsake His Son when He became accursed due to sin. God may forsake sinners, but He desires to show mercy to those who forsake their sins and walk in His law. The offspring of Jacob have perennially broken their covenant with God, forcing God to chastise them severely, but He has always extended mercy and deliverance, not always because they requested it, but to be consistent with His righteous character, keeping His promises to the Patriarch Abraham. In calling His sheep "lost" (Luke 15:6), Christ referred to the lost tribes of Israel, to which He commanded His disciples to minister. The tribes may be lost to scholars, but they are not lost to God, Who has provided multiple clues as to their current whereabouts. Jesus' brother James was aware of the location of all twelve tribes, as dispersed as they were over the face of the earth. Judea and Israel have been in diaspora for over 2 ½ millennia. Josephus identifies the Parthian empire as an extension of the house of Judah, responsible for sending the Magi to honor Christ. Ezekiel 36 describes the incredible proliferation of the "branches" of Israel, ending with God's promise to rescue a remnant of Israel, bringing it back to their homeland. God promises that, no matter how scattered Israel may become, He will not lose sight of even the smallest grain. Using Jerusalem as a point of reference, Israel dispersed north and west (Jeremiah 3:12; 31:8; Isaiah 49:12-22) into what is now northern and western Europe. God promises David's progeny authority over the sea, rivers, and coastlands (Psalm 89:19-24).
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