The conditional promises of God!

God will do anything that He needs to bring us closer to Him.

April 5

You will experience all these blessings if you obey the LORD your God…

Deuteronomy 28:2

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The conditional promises of God!

The Israelites were the chosen people of God.  The LORD had a very special relationship with them.  This relationship was unlike His relationship with any other nation on the earth.  Here in Deuteronomy 28 the LORD describes what the Israelites can expect from that relationship and it is fantastic.  Twelve verses of every kind of blessing you might want; involving protection, provision, and presence.  You can’t help but read those verses and be envious of that relationship and those promises.

What we sometimes forget is that many, in fact most, of God’s promises are conditional promises.  For God to keep His side of the promise some condition must be met first.  That is indicated by the word ‘if’ right in the middle of today’s verse.  God is faithful and because of His faithfulness the Israelites could be absolutely certain that His promises would be fulfilled but only IF they did their part.

Obedience is critical to our relationship with God.  Some people believe that God doesn’t really care all that much if we obey Him or not.  They wrongly believe that they might not get all of His blessings but other than that it is no big deal.  Those people need to read the rest of Deuteronomy 28.  The LORD gives Moses 14 verses of blessings to give to the people and then gives him 54 verses of curses for disobedience.

These 54 verses describe everything that would happen if the Israelites chose not to obey God.  Sadly, the Israelites ended up experiencing all of these curses throughout history and to this day are still receiving them.  God is just as faithful to fulfill His promises of curses as He is to fulfill His promises of blessings.

What many people struggle with is the thought that God would curse them or us.  In reality it makes perfect sense.  God loves us so very much and longs for us to be in an intimate fellowship and communion with Him that He will do anything that He needs to bring us closer to Him.  Only He knows how to do that.  We can’t possibly know how to be in that kind of relationship.  It’s not natural, we need to be instructed and directed.

That is why God demands and rewards obedience.  Disobedience means we are wandering around aimlessly and not drawing nearer to Him.  To discourage us from that the LORD will discipline and punish us to remind us to keep drawing nearer to Him.  For some, the promise of God’s blessings is enough to keep them drawing nearer.  For others, it is the threat of discipline and punishment that holds them to the right path.  God wants to bless us, but He will punish us because we are His children and it is one of the ways that He proves His love for us.  Jesus, help us to want to obey.

To listen to this devotional, go to Audio version.

Daily Bible Reading:
Read: Deuteronomy 23:1-25:19; Luke 19:13-37; Psalm 75:1-10; Proverbs 12:12-14
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