1. Israel is exiled into Assyria in 2 Kings 17. God removes them from His sight. They will be absorbed into the towns of Assyria, assimilating through mixed marriages and embracing their culture and their gods.
  2. These are what we call the lost tribes of Israel.
  3. How does this happen? How does God remove His own children from His sight? What causes a Father to turn His face away?
  4. David pleads in Psalm 27, “Don’t hide Your face from me. Don’t turn Your servant away because of your anger.”
  5. Jesus said that the Father hadn’t left Him alone because He always did what pleased the Father (John 8:29).
  6. That would imply that Jesus understood the Father could leave Him alone if He didn’t do what pleased the Father.
  7. Sin separates us from God. God needs a holy people, one separated unto Him, apart to Him, not apart from Him.
  8. God worked year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation to try to convince the Israelites to fear Him alone.
  9. They wanted to fear God and all the other gods too.
  10. One verse reads that they feared the Lord and served their carved images. They get exiled. They get removed from God’s sight.
  11. I don’t see how we can view Israel as our example, as Paul instructs us, and think that we can’t lose our status as children of God. These are God’s children and they are lost, eternally lost.
  12. God removes them from His sight. They are no longer His children.
  13. Of course, God saves a remnant in Judah, and makes a way for peoples from all nations to come to Him and be saved. But these He called His children. These He called His chosen.
  14. They were the chosen ones. They were rejected.
  15. He will always have a remnant. There will always be Israel. There will always be the church, which is grafted into Israel. He won’t reject us all, but the Scriptures plainly teach we can be cut off from the tree.
  16. They feared the Lord. The Bible says so. Why wasn’t it enough? The fear of the Lord is essential, but it is only the beginning of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. We go from the fear of the Lord into the love of the Lord. That’s where our obedience lies. In God’s love for us and our love for Him.