Then note and appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s gracious kindness to you—provided you continue in His grace and abide in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off (pruned away).
So take a good look at God’s kindness and his severity: on the one hand, severity toward those who fell off; but, on the other hand, God’s kindness toward you — provided you maintain yourself in that kindness! Otherwise, you too will be cut off!
Now you see both how kind and how hard God can be. He was hard on those who fell, but he was kind to you. And he will keep on being kind to you, if you keep on trusting in his kindness. Otherwise, you will be cut away too.
See then the goodness and the severity of God: towards them indeed that are fallen, the severity; but towards thee, the goodness of God, if thou abide in goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
So you see that God is kind, but he can also be very strict. He punishes those who stop following him. But he is kind to you, if you continue trusting in his kindness. If you don’t continue depending on him, you will be cut off from the tree.
·So you see [Notice; Consider] that God is kind and also ·very strict [stern; severe; harsh]. He ·punishes [is strict/severe/harsh toward] those who ·stop following him [have fallen]. But God is kind to you, if you continue ·following in [trusting in; L in] his kindness. If you do not, you will also be cut off from the tree.
Behold therefore the bountifulness, and severity of God: toward them which have fallen, severity: but toward thee, bountifulness, if thou continue in his bountifulness: or else thou shalt also be cut off.
So you see that God is kind, but he can also be very strict. God punishes those who stop following him. But God is kind to you, if you continue following in his kindness. If you do not continue following him, you will be cut off from the tree.
You must try to appreciate both the kindness and the strict justice of God. Those who fell experienced his justice, while you are experiencing his kindness, and will continue to do so as long as you do not abuse that kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off from the tree. And as for the fallen branches, unless they are obstinate in their unbelief, they will be grafted in again. Such a restoration is by no means beyond the power of God. And, in any case, if you who were, so to speak, cuttings from a wild-olive, were grafted in, is it not a far simpler matter for the natural branches to be grafted back onto the parent stem?
If God didn’t think twice about taking pruning shears to the natural branches, why would he hesitate over you? He wouldn’t give it a second thought. Make sure you stay alert to these qualities of gentle kindness and ruthless severity that exist side by side in God—ruthless with the deadwood, gentle with the grafted shoot. But don’t presume on this gentleness. The moment you become deadwood, you’re out of there.
So you see that God is kind and also very strict. He punishes those who stop following him. But God is kind to you, if you continue following in his kindness. If you do not, you will be cut off from the tree.
Think about how kind God is! Also think about how firm he is! He was hard on those who stopped following him. But he is kind to you. So you must continue to live in his kindness. If you don’t, you also will be cut off.
Consider then the nedivut (generosity), the chesed of Hashem, and also the fearful judgment of Hashem: to those who fell (11:15), severity; but to you the goodness of Hashem, provided that you continue in that goodness; otherwise, you too will be cut off.
Witness the simultaneous balance of the kindness and severity of our God. Severity is directed at the fallen branches withering without faith. Yet kindness is directed at you. So live in the kindness of God or else prepare to be cut off yourselves.
Therefore see the goodness, and the fierceness of God; yea, the fierceness into them that fell down, but the goodness of God into thee, if thou dwellest in goodness [if thou shalt dwell in goodness], else also thou shalt be cut down.