If? Then.

(Leviticus 26:3-5 ESV) 3 “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, 4 then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 Your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely.

When I took my first job, my employer said something like this, “If you will work hard and do your job, then I will pay your wages at the end of the pay period.” Later in life, my college professor said, “If you will read the assignments and turn in the work, then I will give you a passing grade.”  Life operates on “if-then” arrangements.

In our passage of Scripture today we read about an “if-then” arrangement God made with His people. The “if” required them to walk in His statutes, observe His commandments AND DO THEM! The “then” was a list of benefits that God had promised to provide them. The arrangement was a “crazy good” deal for them! It went something like this…If you do what I say, then…

  • I will give you rain in the right season.
  • The land shall yield increase.
  • The trees shall yield fruit.
  • The production of your harvest will be long lasting and sufficient.
  • You shall eat your bread to the full.
  • You shall dwell in safety.

If you were to read the remaining verses of this chapter you would be fascinated by the additional benefits that God promised to provide them. The one caveat was simply the requirement to “walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them.” It’s a classic case of sowing and reaping!

Scripture is very clear about this principle. (James 1:22-25 ESV) 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

As a pastor, every time I preach I pray that the hearers will value the Word of God enough to align their lifestyle to it. Why? Because I know that God’s blessings appear in an atmosphere of obedience. On the other hand, rebellion and disobedience always prevents advancement. “If” I obey, “then” I am blessed. It really should be an easy choice. And yet, so many people miss their blessing because of the attachment to their self will.

What is God asking you to do? Are there blessings attached to it? If so, why not just swallow your pride, obey His commands, and position yourself for the blessing? You won’t regret do anything that God has required.

PRAYER: Father, I really don’t know why being obedient is so hard. Will You help me today by softening my heart? I appreciate Your patience with me, and Your willingness to forgive me for the time that I fail. I want to experience Your best blessings! Amen.

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