Jeremiah 29 thru 31 – Falling Behind, Catching Up

I fell behind again, but am catching up… Jer. 29 – 31 speak of the blessings that God will bring upon both Israel and Judah after the time of their punishment is ended. These blessing apparently come without any strings attached, as I see no call to repentance among these chapters, and no warnings against disobedience. After all the doom and gloom prophecies of the first 28 chapters, this turn of focus seems quite startling to me.

Jeremiah 31:33-34:

But such is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after these days – declares the Lord: I will put My Teaching into their inmost being and inscribe it upon their hearts. Then I will be their God, and they shall be My people No longer will they need to teach one another and say to one another, “Head the Lord”; for all of them, from the least of them to the greatest, shall heed Me – declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquities, and remember their sins no more.

This brings up a question of God’s goodness for me. If a time will come in which God will forgive all the House of Israel, and will put obedience directly into their hearts, then why has He not done this already? Why have we gone through this whole fallen world at all? If a time will come when God will write His Teaching on the hearts of all His people, why did He not just do that to Adam in the first place?

And don’t say we needed free will for this or that. That would imply that free will is only necessary for this particular period, but that afterwards we won’t need free will anymore because we will have God’s Teaching written on our hearts. Why not just skip the painful free will part and go straight to the blissful God’s Teaching part?