As we move into the end of days, when slowly and surely all the world’s nations are turning against the tiny nation of Israel, eventually to leave her alone in a sea of hatred and menace, God is calling out from these gentile countries a nation of God-fearing men and women to come to Israel’s aid.
Several Bible verses foretell this amazing occurrence:
Centuries ago Isaiah prophesied:
“Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,
And nations who do not know you shall run to you,
Because of the LORD your God,
And the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you” Isaiah 55:5.
Using similar terminology, Zechariah prophesies:
“Yes, many peoples and strong nations
Shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem,
And to pray before the LORD.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you'” Zechariah 8:22-23.
Ruth portrays a type of these end-time believers when she clung to Naomi saying:
“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
And your God, my God.
Where you die, I will die,
And there will I be buried
he Lord do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me” Ruth 1:16-17.
The word “clung” here is the same Hebrew word used in the above passage from Zechariah to describe the ten from each nation taking hold of (clinging to) a Jew. The result of this identification with the God of Israel and his people is seen in verse 19 where it says:
“Now the two of them went until they had come to Bethlehem” Ruth 1:19.
In other words Ruth became a citizen of the land of Israel because of her love for Naomi.
This makes me think of that, often overlooked, verse in the story of the Exodus from Egypt, when the Bible clearly tells us that not all who left the land were pure stock Israelites, for:
“A mixed multitude went up with them also” Exodus 12:38.
Nearly the same description is used in the blessing made over Ephraim, the youngest son of Joseph, when Jacob prophesied that “his descendants shall become a multitude of nations” Genesis 49:19.
Right from the start, then, there was already a multitude from the nations present among God’s people. Hosea too prophesied about this inclusion of gentiles among the children of Israel.
“Yet the number of the children of Israel
Shall be as the sand of the sea,
Which cannot be measured or numbered.
And it shall come to pass
In the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There it shall be said to them,
‘You are sons of the living God.’
Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel
Shall be gathered together,
And appoint for themselves one head;
And they shall come up out of the land,
For great will be the day of Jezreel!” Hosea 1:10-11.
And Paul foretold this in his epistle to the Ephesians, writing:
“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh – who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands – that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” Ephesians 2:11-13,19.
Again, we find the same idea described by Isaiah, when he says:
“For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob” Isaiah 14:1.
Do not let the son of the foreigner
Who has joined himself to the LORD
“The LORD has utterly separated me from His people”;
Nor let the eunuch say,
“Here I am, a dry tree.”
For thus says the LORD:
“To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths,
And choose what pleases Me,
And hold fast My covenant,
Even to them I will give in My house
And within My walls a place and a name
Better than that of sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
That shall not be cut off.”
The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says,
“Yet I will gather to him
Others besides those who are gathered to him.” Isaiah 56:3-5,8.
And Ezekiel tells how, with the division of the land among the tribes of Israel “the strangers” were to be allotted an inheritance as well:
“Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel! It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who sojourn among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.” Ezekiel 47:21-22.
Since it was primarily the people of Judah who returned to the land of Israel under Ezra and Nehemiah after 70 years of captivity in Babylon, the question arises: what happens with Ephraim or the ten tribes who never returned to their land? For in the time of Jesus Jews had settled all over the land of Judah and Ephraim.
What will eventually happen with the ten tribes? Will they ever return and settle back in those parts of the land of Israel that was divinely allotted to them?
Or, are we who believe with all of our heart in the God of Israel and His Son, and who have been circumcised by the Spirit in our hearts and thus grafted into the tree and commonwealth of Israel, are we “the fullness of the Gentiles,” the ten from each nation who in these are preparing to cling to and become part of Judah – two branches, or two sticks, becoming one tree (or stick), and thus fulfilling God’s Word that the “”two sticks” would become one?
Will the future see Judah increasingly becoming a catalyst that will draw out of every nation those who fear the Lord God of Israel, and who will, in the end, even come over to the land of Israel as Ruth did, to become part of a people we already belong to as children of Abraham by faith?
Personally, as a child of Abraham by faith (Galatians 3:29); as a Jew by the circumcision of my heart by God’s Spirit (see Romans 2:29); as a child and son of the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (John 1:12); as a brother in unbelievable mercy of the great King of Israel; and as a member of the heavenly Jerusalem, that great and holy city that includes the 12 tribes of Israel (see Revelation 21:9-13), I feel privileged to name His land, the land of My Father and the domain of my Brother the King, as my inheritance too.
In his epistle to the Romans, Paul writes:
“We are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with the Messiah provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.” Romans 8:17.
As with the Levites and the Priests, we may have no right yet to an earthly inheritance. Jesus Himself said before Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” His way, and our way, is to suffer first, and thereafter to inherit with Him as kings.
In the end, Jesus will inherit the ends of the earth (See Psalm 2:8) not as High Priest but as King.
It is only then that we also will be counted worthy – as lambs like the Lamb of God – to inherit the earth with Him, as Jesus Himself said: “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth” Matthew 5:5.
May truly this – His Spirit – prevail upon us during these end time days!
Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director
International Christian Zionist Center
Republished with the kind permission of Author Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director of International Christian Zionist Center.
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