Judgement is never God’s final word: He would not abandon His people totally. Some members of the northern tribes took refuge in Judah and survived the Exile. Many of their other descendants (the Samaritans) eventually became Christians, and were thus re-incorporated into the people of God. The ancient promise to Abraham (Genesis 22:17) still stood, and would finally be fulfilled in the Church: comprising not only Jews and Samaritans but countless millions of those who had never previously been called God’s people – the Gentiles (Romans 9:23,24; I Peter 2:10). And we are promised an even greater privilege than the Israelites had enjoyed: to be not merely the people of God but His children (I John 3:1).
God will not only bring in the outcasts, but also heal the divisions. For generations, His people had been divided into two warring kingdoms, but they will be re-united under one King (John 11:51,52). Jezreel was a name of judgement, but also a name of promise: ‘God’s seed’ will grow, slowly but surely, and come to a glorious harvest. And the other children will be re-named, for God can transform curse into blessing. He will reconcile to Himself those who have become estranged from Him.