God’s anger at Judah’s sin is blazing hot! And rightly so: Dr. Henry Halley points out, “Most of the 20 Davidic kings who reigned over Judah during the 400 years between David and the Babylonian exile were very bad. Only a few were worthy of the name of David.” So it is understandable that God would need to punish that sinful nation.
Then comes that word “nevertheless.” In spite of the rampant sin, God’s promise of restoration is even greater than the pain of His punishment.
God promises healing, restoration, complete cleansing from sin, and more descendants of David and Levi than can be counted. And He promises this to the exact same people that He promised to punish.
I don’t know about you, but to me this almost seems like a contradiction. Does God want to punish them or does He want to bless them?
The apparent contradiction is hard for our finite brains to comprehend. That’s why God makes an important statement to Jeremiah before He begins describing the punishment and the blessings: “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (v. 3).
Aha! When we call on God to help us with unsearchable things, we find there are no contradictions in God nor in the Bible itself.
If you feel stumped on a text of Scripture, I have previously shared how I handle the tough texts, but step number one is always calling on God to help.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “Heaven will solve our problems, but not, I think, by showing us subtle reconciliations between all our apparently contradictory notions. The notions will all be knocked from under our feet. We shall see that there never was any problem”—or any contradiction at all.