Even before the people of Israel had entered the promised land, the LORD told Moses that a day would come when this people would break the covenant that he had made with them, and they would go a whoring after other gods, and this would kindle his anger, and he would then hide his face from them, and thus they would be troubled by many evils, Deuteronomy 31:16-18
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.”
– Deuteronomy 31:16-18
Moses goes on to say that “in the latter days”, evil will befall the people of Israel because they have a “stiff neck”, and in their stubbornness they have corrupted themselves and turned from the LORD.
“For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death? Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them. For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.”
– Deuteronomy 31:27-29
The latter days, of course, speaks to the 42 months of the great tribulation, as mentioned by Zechariah 12, Daniel 8:23-24, Daniel 11:45, Isaiah 14:25, Matthew 24:15-22, etc. The tribulation will purge the land of Israel of the spiritually rebellious, Zephaniah 1:4. The tribulation will also refine and try the people of Israel so that they will turn to the LORD, call upon the LORD, and thus truly become a people of the LORD, Zechariah 13:9.
“I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests;”
– Zephaniah 1:4
“And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”
– Zechariah 13:9
This prophecy of Moses in Deuteronomy 31 that Israel would turn away from the LORD did come to pass ages ago. On several occasions, the people of Israel, i.e. the descendants of Jacob, did break the Mosaic covenant and forsake the LORD, prompting the LORD to become angry and to chastise them – e.g. 1 Kings 18, Hosea, Jeremiah 19, etc. Despite all that, the LORD has never entirely forsaken Israel, Isaiah 49:14-16.
“But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”
– Isaiah 49:14-16
In Isaiah 48, the LORD reminds all that he had declared Israel’s obstinacy or “stiff neck” from the beginning, a reference to the prophecy of Deuteronomy 31.
“Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness. For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is his name. I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.”
– Isaiah 48:1-5
As you can see, it was anticipated from the beginning that events would play out this way: that ultimately Israel could only be redeemed and saved through grace.
So, at the appointed time, the LORD will redeem Israel through grace, Joel 2:28-29 and Zechariah 12:10, principally for his own sake, for his holy name.
“For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another. Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.”
– Isaiah 48:9-12
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
– Revelation 1:7
Always remember, for by grace is one saved through faith; and that not of oneself: “it is the gift of God”, Ephesians 2:8.
When the dust settles after the day of the LORD, there will be a new covenant for Israel, a new testament.
“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.”
– Isaiah 59:20-21