WHAT WILL ISRAEL’S FUTURE RE-GATHERING BE LIKE?
by Shawn Brasseaux
“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers” (Jeremiah 16:14-15). If you think God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt was spectacular, just wait until you see what He has in store in prophecy!
A survey of the so-called “Old Testament” (Genesis through Malachi) yields numerous references to the standard of God’s power concerning His dealings with Israel. One way JEHOVAH God reminded Israel of His power was to mention their deliverance from Egyptian slavery. Pharaoh had so horribly treated their ancestors and he refused to release them, but, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had used Moses, the great “Law-giver,” to forcefully deliver and lead Israel to freedom in their Promised Land! So many centuries of hopeless oppression have given way to a magnificent exodus out of Egypt. For brevity’s sake, we will quote the verses without commenting.
“I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exodus 20:2; Deuteronomy 5:6). No idol had delivered Israel; however, JEHOVAH had. Therefore, in the First Commandment, He instructed them to worship Him alone. Israel was to lead a separate and unique life, for God had separated her from the world, particularly Egypt. Leviticus 11:45: “For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” It was what God did for them, not what they did for Him! Leviticus 26:13: “I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.” Let us proceed to look at other related passages.
The nation Israel is God’s great “sign” nation in Scripture. Miraculous demonstrations—physical, visible manifestations of God’s power—are Israel’s national birthright, meant to teach her doctrine (Exodus 4:1-9; Psalm 74:9; 1 Corinthians 1:22; et cetera). The standard of God’s power to Israel was His delivering them from their Egyptian bondage. Scripture makes many references to that event, particularly the parting of the Red Sea.
Note more examples. Exodus 32:11: “And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?” And, 2 Kings 17:36, “But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.” Jeremiah 32:21: “And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror.” Finally, Ezekiel 20:9,10: “ But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.  Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.” Why did God manifest His power to Israel in this manner? How did Israel respond? Let us search the Scriptures and find out!
For centuries, Egypt held helpless Israel captive. However, JEHOVAH God would save them. It would be His power, not their efforts. As Exodus indicates, He poured out 10 mighty judgments on Egypt and her gods. Then, He destroyed Egypt’s armies with the Red Sea. Israel had simply let her God defeat Egypt by Himself. With Aaron’s help, only a few weeks after leaving Egypt, Israel made and worshipped a golden calf idol: “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4,8). Israel forgot that JEHOVAH, the living God, had delivered her. Instead, they credited the work of their hands as their deliverer. Insanity! They had forgotten JEHOVAH their Deliverer once there at Mount Sinai. Forty years later, they were warned not to forget JEHOVAH God again (Deuteronomy 6:12; Deuteronomy 8:14).
Just before Joshua’s death, Israel said, “God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed” (Joshua 24:16-17). Centuries later, under evil King Jeroboam, Israel made two golden calves, saying again, “Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” (1 Kings 12:28). Israel had again forgotten the LORD God their Deliverer. Soon, His wrath would fall on them, and they would be forced out of His land, scattered worldwide!
Just before Israel was expelled from the Promised Land, just before she entered captivity among the Gentiles (nations), the LORD voiced a controversy against her in Micah 6:3-4: “O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me. For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.” God wanted ungrateful Israel to speak up as to why she had abandoned Him in favor of worthless, lifeless idols. “What, O what, Israel, have I done to you that you want nothing to do with Me?! Did I not deliver you from Egypt, from bondage?!” (You can sense God’s broken heart.)
Israel had reached her sin limit. She had broken the Covenant of Law for centuries. Pagan idols polluted God’s land through and through. And so, with Israel refusing to reform and return to JEHOVAH God, the fifth course of judgment fell. Just as Leviticus 26:27-43 said, God let Gentile armies come in and take Israel captive again. He drove Israel so forcefully from that land of Canaan. “And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste” (verse 33). Historically, the Jews were gradually removed between 722 and 586 B.C., scattered worldwide. The Assyrians and Babylonians took them as prisoners of war. Israel was—and still is today—in bondage again. Jeremiah 16:14-15 says JEHOVAH God has a mighty deliverance planned for Israel. It will dwarf her release from Egypt!
Originally, God brought Israel out of Egypt so she would be His people: He would be their God and they would do His will in His land, the Promised Land. Yet, they were not interested. They wanted to do what they wanted. They preferred sin! Once they entered the Promised Land, they waxed worse and worse, until finally, God had enough of their idolatry. He ultimately evicted Israel, but not forever. For over 2,500 years now, the Jews have been scattered worldwide, living in and among the Gentile nations. Nationally, they have no Promised Land to own, no Davidic government to protect them, no earthly blessings to enjoy, no forgiveness of sins, nothing. All those centuries ago, they broke JEHOVAH God’s laws and commandments. They refused to turn back. In accordance with the final round of chastisement (Leviticus chapter 26), God permitted the Gentiles to come in and violently remove the Jews from Canaan.
Verses 44 and 45 of Leviticus chapter 26 are God’s promise to Israel: “And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.” No matter that fifth course of judgment, Israel’s dispersion and Gentile captivity, God would not destroy Israel. He would bring her back (Jeremiah 16:14-15)!
At Mount Sinai, the Jews had agreed to do “all” that the LORD had spoken (Exodus 19:8). Alas, an empty promise! They disobeyed Him for centuries. Whether you read the “Old Testament,” or secular history books, you learn that Israel failed under that Law Covenant. God, in order to cleanse His Promised Land, exiled the idolatrous Jews into foreign nations. Even today, the Gentiles dominate Israel and her land. This will continue until Jesus Christ returns.
God knew all along Israel—like all sinners—could never keep His commandments, but Israel was in denial and had to be taught it. Even though Israel failed miserably under the Law, it was only a temporary agreement. Long before Israel’s works were involved, God had promised to make Abraham’s seed His people forever (Genesis 12:1-3). Regardless of their works, God had promised to give Abraham, and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob, the Promised Land forever (Genesis 13:14-17; Genesis 15:1-21). One day, Israel will learn once for all that she will receive God’s promises by God’s grace, not by her works!
As Israel needed God to deliver her from Egypt so He could bring her into His Promised Land, Israel needs Him to bring her back from Gentile captivity so she can enter that Promised Land forever. This prophetic return will be much grander than history. She was confined to one nation (Egypt); now, she is scattered worldwide. Her Egyptian bondage was just a few centuries; her worldwide captivity has lasted over 2,000 years. It looks hopeless, as if Israel will never return. Yet, the deliverance from Egypt was all a rehearsal for the future!
Although Israel messed up God’s purpose and plan for them once they came out of Egypt, Jeremiah 16:14-15 loops back to show us God will still fulfill His will with them (cf. Leviticus 26:44-45). Jeremiah chapter 16 resembles a passage descriptive of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming to be Israel’s King. Jeremiah 23:5-8: “ Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;  But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.”
Israel’s deliverance from Egypt was glorious, but there is a greater deliverance yet future. The famous “Valley of Dry Bones” passage (Ezekiel chapter 37), which you should read in your own time, illustrates how God will bring redeemed Israel back from all those foreign nations. They will finally enjoy God’s earthly kingdom… they should have experienced it after leaving Egypt! Regardless of their failures, God will still be faithful to them. He will make them His people, fill them with His Spirit forever, and they will never disappoint Him again!
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:30-31).