“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel?” (Hosea 11:8)

Most know the Lord as “The God of the Second Chance” for that is who He is. So why do we think the God of Jacob has given up on ten of the patriarch’s sons? Students of prophecy recognize Judah and Jerusalem’s role in the last days, but what about the other Israel?

In Numbers 14, two out of ten spies remained true to God at Kadesh Barnea. Caleb of the tribe of Judah was one; Joshua a leader of the tribe of Ephraim was the other. They stood united, as one man, ready to take the Promised Land. Judah and Ephraim were joined together. No one could separate them but God.

Was Judah handed over to Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. then forgotten? Absolutely not! The Lord said he had plans to prosper the Jews in exile, not to harm them (cf. Jeremiah 29:11). God returned the Jews to their homeland after seventy years of captivity.

In 722 B.C., Ephraim or the kingdom of Israel was carried off by the Assyrians, then scattered to the four winds. How can we say the ten tribes are forever excluded from God’s plans? The Bible gives us plenty of reason to believe we’ll soon see Ephraim one with Judah again. (See Hosea 1:10-11, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Ezekiel 37:15-28, John 10:16.)

For more than half a century, the world’s attention has frequently been on Israel. The Jewish Middle East state has been the focus of Islamic attacks and anti-Semitic hatred since its birth in 1948. However, don’t confuse the Israeli Jews with the Israelites scattered among the peoples of the earth. The Lord is preserving all twelve tribes, not just the two that make up ethnic Jews. At present, there is another hidden Israel.

When a recent cease-fire was announced in Gaza between the IDF and Hamas, not all Israelites had a respite. At the same time, ISIS was attempting to murder their brothers living among the thousands of Assyrian Christians in Northern Iraq. Promises and warnings in God’s Word are not just for devout Jews in Israel nor are they only for Christian saints throughout the world.

Soon, when Jesus comes, there will be one King and one kingdom (Acts 1:6). Prophecy regarding a time of sorrow and mourning is not only for Israel the nation. Look also to the other Israel, the people descended from Jacob who long ago lost their tribal identity.