Why does God say things about Israel and Judah that make us shudder? For one, they are true. Secondly, if they were not said all we’d have is the word of dead prophets. When God says you are shallow and incorrigible then offers you a 490 year grace period you know you are in quicksand most terrifying.
What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away. Hosea 6:4
I made them cling to me
The intimacy of the relationship ebbs and flows. Watch what Jeremiah was observing.
For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.
How far, how near!
As close as underwear, but alas, Ephraim and Judah have no intention of going Yahweh’s way. The promises of restoration are waterless clouds. With evidence like the exposure of the temple trade and the ignorance about God’s lifegiving power on the part of the leaders in New Testament times we have little reason to hope.
We should be aware that there are promises which will not see the light of day without the relevant compliance and there is nothing left after the land becomes home.