When all these words will have come true for you, the blessing and the curse that I have put before you, and you’ve brought them back to your mind in all the countries that the LORD your God has scattered you to,
Then if you and your families come back to the LORD your God, and listen to my voice and all that I command you today with your whole heart and soul,
Then the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity, and show love to you and bring you all back together from all the people that He scattered you amongst.
Even if you are banished to the ends of the heavens, the LORD your God would gather you from there and bring you back.
It’s somewhat of a strange way to draw up a contract - to have a clause in there saying that, if one party breaks the contract, it can still be fixed up again later. But then the Covenant is a strange kind of contract.
I think through the Bible - and since - God is still in the process of revealing who He really is and still challenging our assumptions about what it means for God to be God.
What is God saying about Himself here? We’ve seen God start a relationship, a simple proposition for one person, which He’s grown into a mutual treaty with an entire nation. But here God goes beyond mutuality. He provides a way back after failure. How many strikes and you’re out? Not seven, but seventy times seven. That’s why we have to forgive - because He does.
Nevertheless there is choice and judgement here too. If Israel go their own way, then God will scatter them. Sometimes we talk as if the rebellion is the judgement. “If people choose eternity without God, then that’s what they get.” Not so here. Twice it is stated that when the people rebel, God himself will scatter them amongst the nations. But God also says that when they rebel and are scattered, they will think again. And God will, if necessary, go out and get them.
God is basically saying that He will put Israel on the naughty step until Israel learns to behave. The judgement isn’t vengeance. It’s parenting.