Today is South Carolina National Shabbat and we are hosting the Washburn Family from Tennessee as they will be providing the music. They got in yesterday evening and we had a blessed erev Shabbat hanging around the firepit.
The Washburns, as agreed, brought the challah, so when it came to that point in our simple setting apart of the day, I asked Tom to lead in blessing the bread and the Bread of Life. He held the bread up and began, “I am not a ‘two house’ person. I am ‘one house’ because two house was never the Father’s will. Sin is what caused two houses and the Father is bringing restoration!”
And, I could not agree more!
So called ‘two house theology’ is not about an end result, rather it acknowledges a mechanism seen throughout Scripture that God is using to bring His people together into one House. Quite simply, once acknowledged and understood, one recognizes the two house mechanism everywhere in Scripture. Obvious references include
- two sticks,
- Ephraim and Judah,
- house of Israel and house of Judah
- Elijah and Moses
- Spirit and Truth
- Two witnesses
- Two candlesticks
- Two olive trees
- Rachel and Leah
- the other two sticks you never noticed….
And then there are the hundred or so verses that are clearly not parallelism wherein Israel or house of Israel are set in contradistinction to Judah. Quick examples would include Hosea 1:6-7; Isaiah 11:11-14ff; and Ezekiel 37:15-23. Simply, as clearly seen in all of these passages, there are two groups, two nations, two kingdoms!! Until one wrestles with this and gets a firm grip on it, I do not believe they can fully or rightly understand prophecy or the workings of God in history.
The trajectory is one house and one people, but how has God chosen to bring that restoration? What is the mechanism so that we can recognize His Hand at work and come alongside?
But, that should not be our end goal. Our goal is ONE house.
As we walk this two house road, we must remember where we are going and work toward that end. One House, one stick. That is what Tom was reminding us as he broke the challah!