Ephraim And The House Of Judah: Part 8 of 9.

Ezekiel 37:15-20
15 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 16 “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ 17 Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand.
18 “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’— 19 say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.”’ 20 And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.”
(Aaron’s rod that budded overnight.)
Before we see how the House of Judah relates to the tribe of Ephraim, we’ll need to know all about something every tribal leader possessed:  The Family Stick.
Sign Of Authority.
Every Jewish family in ancient Israel had something called, “The family stick.”  On it was written the name of the current head of the family and all his predecessors.  It was a sign of both authority and of leadership.  Abraham had such a stick, as did all the heads of the twelve tribes.
The Rod That Budded.
Do you remember when the leaders of Israel complained to Moses about Aaron being their leader?  Each of the tribal heads were told to bring their family stick, or rod, to Moses who set them all down before the Ark of the Covenant.
In the morning, Aaron’s rod had buds, mature blossoms, and fruit on it.  Every other stick remained unchanged.  By this miracle, God showed them definitively that Aaron was God’s appointed leader.
As a result of this rebellion by the other leaders, Aaron’s budding rod is one of the three items that were kept inside the Ark of the Covenant.  In addition to his rod were two other items:  The tablets of stone on which were written the big Ten and a golden pot containing manna.  All represent man’s rebellion against God’s law, God’s appointed leadership, and God’s provision.
Two Covenant Peoples.

There are two groups of people in the world who are in covenant with The Most High:  The Jewish people, meaning natural Israel, and The Church.  Because of Jesus, the Church has the full blessing of Abraham, but our Jewish cousins have only part of the blessing.  When they believe in Jesus and get saved, they receive the full blessing.  Righteousness in Christ is, by far, the greatest part of those blessings.

In the last days, the family stick of the Jewish people, and the family stick of Ephraim, i.e., the Church, will be joined into one as Jewish people come to Christ and become the Church together with us, who formerly were Gentiles.  We at long last will be one people.

(Non-Jews are grafted into a Jewish tree.)
Adopted Sons And Daughters.
You saw in an earlier part of this study that Ephraim and Manasseh were both adopted by Jacob.  He chose them to be as sons to him in place of Reuben and Simeon, his first and second born.  In the same way we, the non-Jewish Church, have been adopted into the family of God, grafted into the Jewish family tree.
(For more on that topic, you may follow the link below:
Reuben and Simeon Lose Their Place.
Reuben means “See the Son” and Simeon means “Hear (the Son).”  Together they represent Natural Israel.  It was Jesus’ natural family, the Jewish people, who primarily got to “See and hear” Jesus when He walked on earth.
Reuben and Simeon both lost their positions as first and second born because of their lawless deeds, though they are still family.  You can read all about their evil deeds in Genesis 34-35.  They were bad boys!
Replacement Theology?
THIS DOES NOT MEAN THE CHURCH HAS REPLACED ISRAEL.  NO way!  We have simply been given first born status.  Jesus would never EVER forget His natural family.  CERTAINLY NOT!  They were simply set aside for a time you understand, while Jesus became the Savior to the whole world:  To us non-Jews.
(Please refer to the above link for more details on that topic.)
Miracle Happening Now!
How exciting to be witness to such things in these last days. God has turned back to His Natural family just prior to Jesus’ return.  That miracle we have been waiting to see:  Jewish people getting saved, is beginning to unfold right before our very eyes!  HALLELUJAH!!!
You may proceed to part 9 for the final article of this series.  We’ll be discussing how Ephraim represents the Church as we take a fresh look at a very familiar parable:  The Prodigal son.

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