Apparently, this is a verse the academics love to tear apart and put back together again. A quick Google search threw me into all kinds of didactic sermons and instruction. Even Wikipedia took me beyond my desire to pursue all the ins and outs of the genealogies and implications of Jesus as the branch and fulfillment of the promises of God. What is left then?
The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill my gracious promise with the people of Israel and Judah. In those days and at that time, I will raise up a righteous branch from David’s line, who will do what is just and right in the land. In those days, Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is what he will be called: The Lord Is Our Righteousness. [Jeremiah 33:14-16, CEB]
Simplicity is my choice. If I had to melt it all down into one tidbit, then it would be this: Jehovah Tsidkenu, The Lord our Righteousness. And yes, the discussion could amble about the meanings of righteousness but in the end I am at peace with my understanding that God knows best and all is within the working out of what is best. I have a belief in ultimate good whose source is God. And so, if God loves humanity as I believe God does (for the Creator loves creation), then all will be well.
It’s hard to look at the details to see the big picture because we interpret those details using our own limited framework. If my mind’s architecture believes that the peace of Jerusalem or Judah or Israel should have been played out by now, then I will be disappointed in God’s apparent unfulfilled promise. If I am looking for proof positive that Jesus is really in David’s line, scholarship may break my conviction. And so I say again, Jehovah Tsidkenu.
When bad things happen to good people, there are no explanations that can do justice to the sorrow except for our faith in Jehovah Tsidkenu. People die, children are hurt, families struggle, evil manifests, the earth groans.