29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey Him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which He confirmed to them by oath.
But if from there? What is that? Well it turns out this section of the chapter is on idolatry that is forbidden and what happens if Israel falls into idolatry.
25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing His anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell.
God is foretelling of the mercy He will have on Israel after she is exiled for idol worship as a punishment. However, His mercy would be conditional for as He states, if you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Then in the midst of your distress while in exile you will choose to return to the Lord your God and obey Him.
First there is direction by God, then warnings about what will happen if His directions are not followed – punishment, and then mercy that would be available if there was a change of heart. Mercy would be available because the Lord your God is a merciful God. And He always stands by the covenant He has made and which He confirmed to them by oath.
The bottom line here is that we can trust God’s Word, His Mercy, and His forgiveness if they/we will but turn to Him even after rejecting Him, turning away from Him. Finally He offers His mercy not only to Israelites when they have sinned against Him, but He offers it to the whole world Jew and Gentile alike.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Praise God that He has such mercy offered to all of us.