And the Lord said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.(Jeremiah 3:11-18)
Israel is a nation in transition. She was once the center of true worship, and had the very throne of God, who was dwelling in the Holy temple, in the midst of her.
But because of her sin, Israel was judged, the temple is gone, the nation had been sent into exile, and endured a long night of wandering and exile, which featured endless pograms, persecutions, hatred and rejection of nations and constant wandering.
But the Prophets said that God will never be “Through” with Israel, He has a plan and purpose for her, which cannot be frustrated.Even in Exile for two thousand years, the Most High preserved her as a people, and wouldn’t allow anyone to wipe her out.
His plan involves bringing her back into the land. That event, the rebirth of national political Israel, is the sign of the latter days.The Prophets of God assert over and over again, that Israel shall return to the Land God gave Abraham,Isaac and Jacob, in the latter times.
For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without seraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.(Hosea 3:4-5)
But Israel is not yet morally or spiritually restored to the true worship of God, she is yet estranged from him, and must undergo a terrible trial, before she is restored.
The restoration of Israel, will bring about the restoration of the whole world, but what are we waiting for?
The prerequisite condition of national restoration is simple, Israel must come to the place where she confesses the national sin (Singular), i.e. the repudiation and rejection of the Messiah,Jeshua.
If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.( Leviticus 26:40-42)
The Mosaic covenant anticipates Israel’s fall, scattering and exile, and predicts her restoration again, but promises that should Israel “confess her iniquity(singular) and the iniquity of her fathers”, she will be restored, as God remembers his covenant.
Had Israel accepted Jeshua, who came in the Father’s name, and was “cut off, but not for himself, but for the people”, He would have brought them out of the Bondage of the Old Covenant, which was conditional, and under which they suffer the penalty,the curses found in Deuteronomy 28. Messiah came to inaugurate the New (unconditional) Covenant, foretold by Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
But currently she languishes under the curse of the Law, even though God has begun the process of repatriation to the Land.
Incredibly, and in the first person through Hosea, God told her, that He was going back to the place where He came from, until they acknowledge their offense…Israel must confess the national sin, she must repent of her previous stance towards the Messiah.
I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.(Hosea 5:15)
“In their affliction”… is an expression of a specific time frame, also known as “The time of Jacob’s trouble”, the Tribulation, and even the “Great tribulation”. The purpose of the tribulation is to get Israel to confess her national sin and be restored.
Jeshua also spoke of the need for confession, when in the temple, he addressed the leaders of the nation for the last time, in his capacity as Messiah of Israel, on the day appointed, as predicted in Daniel 9 and in Psalm 118.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord ( Matthew 23:37-39)
“You will not see me again, until you say…” . He is waiting for the confession, the admittance of the national sin.
The Prophet Hosea is so tender he even gives Israel the Words to say…
O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.( Hosea 14:1-4)