Fishermen and Fish

By Pastor Joyce Edwards

Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes in the rocks.
– Jeremiah 16:16

PRIOR TO THE DEATH OF KING Solomon, the Prophet Ahijah spoke to Jeroboam, one of Solomon’s servants, concerning the rending of the Nation of Israel. The Prophet told Jeroboam that the Lord God would give him ten of the twelve tribes of Israel; and Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, would be given the remaining two tribes for David’s sake. This impending situation would ultimately create two kingdoms. The two tribes of Judah and Benjamin would be ruled by Rehoboam and become known as the Southern Kingdom or the house of Judah. The remaining ten tribes under the rule of Jeroboam would become the Northern Kingdom or the house of Israel. The dividing of the twelve tribes occurred as the result of Solomon’s departure from the commandments of God which led him into idolatry and adultery with strange women and other unsightly deeds. (1 Kings 11:29-32; 12:20-21)

After Solomon’s death, Rehoboam assumed reign over Israel; however, shortly thereafter the kingdom was divided as prophesied by the Prophet Ahijah. When Rehoboam began his reign over Judah and Benjamin, he remained in Jerusalem which caused Jeroboam and the remaining ten tribes to settle in Shechem in Mount Ephraim. Immediately thereafter, Jeroboam became fearful since the Temple, the place of worship, was situated in Jerusalem where Rehoboam reigned. Therefore fearing the loss of his kingship, Jeroboam erected two golden calves and set one in Bethel and the other in Dan. He also built temples in high places and appointed priests that were not Levitical. He instituted feasts and sacrifices and burnt incense upon the altars to prevent the house of Israel from going to Jerusalem to worship. In short, Jeroboam led Israel into sin or dishonor to the Lord God Almighty. It wasn’t long thereafter that the house of Judah began to sin and do evil in the sight of the Lord; and following Rehoboam’s death Abijam, another wicked king, reigned over the house of Judah. From this point forward we find a succession of wicked kings who ruled over Judah and also Israel although there were several good kings that reigned over both kingdoms. (1 Kings 12:25-14:20, 22-27, 31; 15:1-3)

Sometime after the division of the twelve tribes of Israel, the Prophet Jeremiah prophesied about the captivity of both kingdoms. When Jeremiah proclaimed the prophecy, the two kingdoms could be likened unto America. America was founded upon biblical principles; but today, those foundational principles have been eroded which is what happened to the two kingdoms of Israel. Jeremiah’s prophecy foretold the dispersing of the ten tribes or the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Their dispersion led to the coining of the expression “the lost tribes of Israel”. The Prophet Jeremiah let us know that the Lord would appoint fishermen to fish and hunters to hunt these lost sheep from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes in the rocks, meaning where-so-ever these lost sheep may have wandered they will be sought.

As a side note, I have mentioned in previous articles that many of the lost sheep were Blacks. Awhile ago, I visited Europe, and from London to Rome there were Black Africans residing in these various countries. Now I cannot say unequivocally that they are some of the lost sheep; but the majority, if not all, of the twelve tribes of Israel were Black. The ten tribes, the Northern Kingdom, were dispersed throughout the world so some of them are probably everywhere. This is why the Lord will send fishers and hunters to fish and hunt for those lost tribes. They are scattered throughout the world, and let me say that this is one of the main reasons that the major cities in this country need to be educated. In cities like Philadelphia and Detroit, we do not have to be concerned about lynching and hangings because young Black boys/men are killing young Black boys/men. In other words, we are lynching and hanging one another. Nevertheless, in spite of these senseless killings, the Lord will send fishers and hunters to fish and hunt for the ten lost tribes of Israel.

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When the Lord Jesus called Peter and Andrew, Jesus said at Matthew 4:19: follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Ironically, most ministers have historically taught and commentators commented on the notion that the fish were unsaved individuals that needed to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. While those notions may have some merit, Jesus was actually calling the disciples so they could fish for the lost sheep of Israel. Jesus said at Matthew 15:24: I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. It was the lost ten tribes of Israel, the Northern Kingdom or the house of Israel that the Lord Jesus came to seek. This is why it is urgent or imperative for us to study and discover who we are… don’t you want to know who you really are. When I read news articles regarding the number of Blacks killing Blacks in the city of Philadelphia, it really saddens me because it is blatantly obvious that these senseless killings are occurring because these Blacks have no knowledge of who they are, or who they are killing. Listen to what the Prophet Hosea said: my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. How much time and effort do you put into researching who you are from a biblical viewpoint. Matthew and Luke both contain genealogies of the Lord Jesus Christ to demonstrate that Jesus descended from the tribe of Judah. I’m not suggesting you conduct a genealogy of your family lineage, but studying history can enlighten you tremendously, particularly if you’re interested in knowing who you are.

The Lord Jesus let us know He was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel which was to whom the disciples were commissioned to go in search of. The lost sheep must be sought after, and all believers have an obligation to seek these lost sheep. Although there is not much being reported by the news media regarding this matter, there is an influx of Ethiopians returning to Israel. By some reports they are not being received favorably, but God knows His own. In like manner, we will know those that are among the lost tribes of Israel. For starters, when we begin to share the Old Testament Scriptures and tell them about the Sabbath day and the feasts ordained by the Lord God for us to keep, they will know who we are and want to be part of our fellowship. This is what the Apostle Paul was speaking of at Romans 8:19 when he said: for the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. The lost sheep are looking for those who will demonstrate by their lifestyle that they are the sons of God, for they will be keepers of the commandments of God and living by the Torah, God’s teachings and instructions.

There’s a haziness surrounding how Christians are able to justify why they do not keep the commandments of God. The commandments of God are referred to throughout the sixty-six books of the Bible. In Psalm 119 alone, the commandments are spoken of twenty-one times demonstrating their importance and relevance. As untraditional as this may seem, just as Jesus came to seek the lost tribes of Israel at His first coming, if we have not sought them and brought them into our midst; Jesus will seek those lost tribes of Israel at His second coming. We have a lot of fishing and hunting to do, but just as judgment will begin at the house of God; we need to individually get our house in order by returning to the commandments and Torah, God’s teachings and instructions. This is the only means by which we can fish and hunt effectively. (1 Peter 4:17) God bless you.

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