The Multitude Of Blessings In God’s Conditional Promises

Have you ever tried to justify not reading parts of the Old Testament? There are too many lists of names. We’re not under the law anymore, we’re under grace. Who wants to learn the measurements and colors of a tabernacle that doesn’t even exist today?

The problem with this line of thinking is that you’ll miss out on some pretty amazing stories. Think the parting of the Red Sea, great battle scenes, people risking their lives for their God. That sounds like something I’d like to know more about.

As we read through the Old Testament, we also find some pretty straightforward instructions for how to live our lives, regardless of what century we’re living in. If you find yourself saying, I just want to know what God expects from me, He doesn’t hide His desires. With just a little digging, you’ll find a treasure trove of God’s heart put into words.

In our youth Sunday School class, we’re reading through the Bible in a year. It’s a little daunting, but we’re breaking it down into manageable pieces. Yesterday we went through the Pentateuch - the first five books of the Bible - as a reminder of what we’ve already learned. Then we dug down deep into Deuteronomy 7 for some hard lessons about holiness and God’s conditional promises.

Quick refresher: a conditional phrase includes “if...” and “then...” in some form. If you do this, then this will happen. God uses them liberally throughout the entire Bible to tell His people what blessings He has ready for them if they’ll just obey.

As Deuteronomy 7 begins, Moses tells Israel that God is bringing them into their new land, and He promises to drive out their enemies from before them as they go. This isn’t a conditional promise, just a call to trust Him to deliver them as they fight their way through. 

The people’s responsibility is to keep their hearts pure and holy, refuse to follow the influence of the world around them and get rid of all appearance of evil in their own lives. Do you want to know how to live your best life possible? There are three really great ways to start.

Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them. Deuteronomy 7:11

There is our responsibility in just a few words. Know what the Bible says and choose to follow God’s instruction.

Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee. And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee. Deuteronomy 12-16

Here is God’s conditional promise. If you keep His commands, He promises faithfulness, mercy, love, blessings, future generations, plenty, good harvest for your labor, health, life, deliverance and defeat of your enemies.

And this is the best part of this passage - notice that our part of the promise requires only obedience and is summed up in 21 words. On the other hand, the blessings and grace God promises in exchange for that obedience took five verses to explain. He always gives us above and beyond and better and more wonderful than we deserve. But that’s His delight! He loves fulfilling HIs promises and drawing us closer to Him. 

My prayer for each of us this week is that we’ll choose to keep and do what we’ve learned in Scripture, not just so we can reap some rewards for our good behavior, but so we’ll have a lasting, loving relationship with our Lord.

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