2 Kings 21:7-9 7 Manasseh set up the carved image of Asherah, which he made, in the temple that the LORD had spoken about to David and his son Solomon, “I will establish My name forever in this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 8 I will never again cause the feet of the Israelites to wander from the land I gave to their ancestors if only they will be careful to do all I have commanded them — the whole law that My servant Moses commanded them.” 9 But they did not listen; Manasseh caused them to stray so that they did greater evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites.
There’s one little 2-letter word that jumped out at me today. It’s the word on which promises hinge. It is the word which will determine blessing or destruction, wrath or providence, legacy or death. That little word is “IF” and it packs a punch. It’s a word we use regularly today. You will get to go to the movies IF you do your chores. You will get a paycheck IF you work the hours. You may get a speeding ticket IF you go over the speed limit. “If” speaks to condition or conditions – and God had them. Still does.
These kingly fellows in the Old Testament were mostly failures when it came to the if clause. They served themselves before the Lord. They ignored His “if” and paid the consequences. Today, God gave us a big “if” too. First of all, He said that IF you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be saved. It’s a condition. We have a part to play. We must believe in the Son. And I think we should do more than just believe; we should throw our whole lives into Him.
He is where life is at! If you want protection, live under His covering. If you want peace, live by His Spirit. We cry out to God in our times of need, saying: “help, help!” I wonder if he feels like saying, “what about the IF?!” We so often expect Him to hold up His part of the bargain without holding up ours. And He is asking us to be set-apart. He asks us to lay down our sin and walk away. He asks us to serve Him and Him alone as God. IF we could just do that, imagine the blessing, the protection, and the peace. Imagine the vision, the purpose, and the hope we would have. IF we would just look to Him in all things, we might actually find the life we are looking for.