42. For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.
42. Quia sic dicit Jehova, Quemadmodum venire feci super populum hunc omne malum hoc grande, sic ego reducam super eos bonum quod ego pronuntio super eos.
God shews here again to his Prophet that exile would be temporary as to the remnant; for we know that the greater part of the people had been wholly rejected; but it pleased the Lord, that his Church should survive, though very small in number. Then this promise is not to be extended indiscriminately to all the twelve tribes, but refers especially to the elect, as the event sufficiently proved, and Paul also is a most faithful interpreter of this truth. And this ought to be carefully borne in mind, because hypocrites always steal for themselves whatever God promises to his faithful people, while yet they falsely pretend his name. Let us then understand the design of God, even that his purpose was to support with strong confidence his chosen, lest despair should close up the avenue to prayer. Since, then, a portion of the people remained, that the Church might not wholly be cut off, this promise was fulfilled; and as we can never embrace the promise of mercy, except repentance and acknowledgment of sin precede, the two things are here referred to by the Prophet.
He says that God had made to come, or had brought, a dreadful calamity; and it then follows, that he would bring on them all the good that he had promised. By these words God intimates that what he had before promised would not be difficult for him to accomplish, because he could heal the wound which he had inflicted. Had the Chaldeans, as it had been said elsewhere, taken the city according to their own will, the remedy might have been difficult; but as God had employed the Chaldeans, and as they had fought, as it were, under his banner, it was an easy thing for him to restore the city, and to recall from exile those whom his righteous vengeance had banished.
We must notice especially what is said, I will render to them all the good which I have spoken concerning them. For God shews on what support the faithful were to rely in hoping for their liberation; he bids them to depend on his own mouth; for whatever men may promise is evanescent and without fruit. If, then, we would have our hope to be firmly fixed, so that it may not disappoint us, let us learn to rely on God's promises, so that no one of us may presumptuously dream of this or that, as we thus often deceive ourselves; but let us acquiesce in the word of God. But when the evidence of God's grace fails us, we may have recourse to many confidences, but it will be without profit. We now perceive why the Prophet expressly added this particular respecting God's word. It follows, --