Divorcing Israel

Q. My uncle sent me the following verse and claims that Israel are no longer G-d’s chosen people.

“And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.” (Jeremiah 3:8)

What say you?

A. In Jeremiah 3:8 God was reminding the Southern Kingdom (Judah) that He had sent the North (Israel) into captivity for their idolatry and here was Judah doing the very same thing. He went on to say that Judah was worse than Israel for not having learned the lesson that Israel’s demise should have made plain. Therefore He was sending Judah to Babylon for 70 years.

But later on in the Book of Jeremiah, God reminded the people that the punishment they were suffering was only temporary and He would bring them back.

In Jeremiah 29:10-11 He said, “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

And in Jeremiah 31:37 He said, “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done.”

By these and several other similar passages it’s clear that God has not cast Israel aside, nor will He ever.

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