Just when didshow mercy on the house of Israel, whom He divorced? In the book of the prophet Hosea, God said He would “bring an END TO THE KINGDOM OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.” (Hos 1:4) He said: “I will NO LONGER HAVE MERCY on the HOUSE OF ISRAEL, But I will utterly take them away.” (Hos 1:6) However, he specifically stated “Yet I WILL have MERCY on the HOUSE OF JUDAH…” (Hos 1:7) The contrast between the two houses is significant. He vowed to send away the northern Kingdom of Israel (also called Ephraim) while He would have mercy on the southern Kingdom of Judah.
After the death of Solomon, the United Kingdom of Israel split into north and south in 932 BC. Ten tribes went north with Jeroboam while the tribe of Judah and Benjamin (and some land-less Levites) formed the southern kingdom of Judah. The term “Jew” is someone from the southern Kingdom of Yehudah/Judah.
Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone. (2Kgs 17:18)
Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. (2Kgs 17:19)
And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight. (2Kgs 17:20)
For He tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin. (2Kgs 17:21)
For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, (2Kgs 17:22)
until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day. (2Kgs 17:23)
The prophet Hosea was prophesying specifically to the northern kingdom of Israel (NOT Judah).
Therefore, when God said “Call his name Lo-Ammi, For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.” (Hos 1:9) He was specifically speaking of the northern Kingdom of the House of Israel (Ephraim) and NOT the Kingdom of Judah (the Jews). He said very clearly in verse seven that He would HAVE MERCY on the southern Kingdom of Judah (the Jews).
When God promised that “the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered,” (Hos 1:10) He was speaking of the Northern Kingdom, and NOT the southern Kingdom of Judah. Furthermore, when He promised “it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, “You are not My people,’ There it shall be said to them, “You are sons of the living God,‘” (Hos 1:10) He was speaking to the northern Kingdom of Israel (Ephraim) and NOT the southern Kingdom of Judah.
It then follows that Peter said: “who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1Pet 2:10) he was speaking to the ten tribes who had been scattered. He specifically called them elect/chosen (a term God used of united Israel Deut 7:6) and said that they were in the Diaspora. James addressed his epistle to the entire twelve tribes in the diaspora “To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad (εν τη διασπορα)” (James 1:10).
Peter’s statement is a word-for-word fulfillment of what God promised for the House of Israel (NOT Judah)
Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, “You are My people!’ And they shall say, “You are my God!”‘ (Hos 2:23)
Paul also confirms this correlation in his epistle to the Romans:
As He says also in Hosea: ”I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ”You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.” (Rom 9:25-26)
Paul understood that God was speaking of the Kingdom of Israel (NOT Judah) because, as noted before, God clearly said that He would not have mercy on the House of Israel but he would have mercy on the House of Judah.
Furthermore, God stated that because of the disobedience of the House of Israel (Ephraim), he would cast them away and they would “be wanderers among the nations,” (Hos 9:17). The word “nations” is “goyim” in Hebrew and “ethnos” in Greek which are both translated as gentiles or nations in English. Hence, Paul’s statement: “even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” (Rom 9:24) maintains that distinction between the kingdom of Judah (the Jews) and the House of Israel (who were scattered to the nations/gentiles).
God went on to say concerning the northern Kingdom of the House of Israel (Ephraim):
Bring charges against your mother, bring charges; For she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband! Let her put away her harlotries from her sight, And her adulteries from between her breasts. (Hos 2:2)
His decree against the House of Israel was reiterated in the days of Jeremiah when God said that He divorced the House of Israel but not the House of Judah:
Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE; yet her treacherous SISTER JUDAH did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. (Jer 3:8)
Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesians that the two houses, have been reunited into one body. Paul letters has many allusions to the reunification of the two sticks in Ezekiel 37 (inserted below in brackets).
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, [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.”‘(Ezek 37:19)] thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. [Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together…” (Hos 1:11)] And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, (Eph 2:14-19)
In conclusion, God has shown mercy on the House of Israel made possible through the cross. The reunification began at the cross and will not be complete until the Lord’s return. God reconciled many things through the work of the cross, principle among those was showing mercy on her who had not received mercy and calling them his people once again who were not his people. (Hos 2:23)