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March 7th - A Conditional Covenant

A Conditional Covenant

(Deuteronomy 26:16-19; 27:1-26; 28:1-68; 29:1-29; 30:1-20)


Torah

Artist Unknown


Yesterday, our Bible reading concluded the listing of the law of the Lord from the Torah. Today, we read of how God’s people were called to a covenant of obedience. Their response would lead either to blessing or cursing.


Although God called the Israelites to be His holy people, and He promised never to leave them, His favor would depend upon their choices. The people could choose to obey the Lord and keep His covenant, or they could opt to reject Him and lose His hand of blessing upon their lives and the land He would give to them.


This conditional covenant represented a new chapter in the history of God’s people.


The Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional.


God’s promise to Abraham (known as the Abrahamic Covenant) had been unconditional. God assumed full responsibility for the promise and the outcome (see Genesis 12-17).


"I will make you into a great nation,

and I will bless you;

I will make your name great,

and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,

and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all peoples on earth

will be blessed through you."

(Genesis 12:2-3, NIV)


The Mosaic Covenant was conditional.


Throughout the delineation of God’s covenant with Moses and the people (see Exodus 19-24), the word “if” appears repeatedly. God promises fruitfulness, prosperity, health and expansion, if the people will seek to obey His laws. On the other hand, He warns of disease, disaster, oppression and ruin, if they will not.


Sin separates man from the Lord, and deliberate disobedience blocks His hand of blessing. Bible scholars and historians have traced the patterns of sin and obedience and found the consequences to bear out the Lord’s principles.


Does all suffering come from sin?


It can be easy for healthy and wealthy individuals to claim the Lord’s favor and to blame those who struggle and suffer for their own troubles. However, any honest evaluator will quickly discover that bad things happen to righteous people, and good things may also happen to the wicked.


Certainly, mankind’s troubles began when sin entered the world through prideful disobedience. We have all experienced the perils of our fallen condition.


However, even in times of suffering, we may walk with the blessing of the Lord.


Will we choose to be blessed or stressed?


Living in a dangerous and often dark world, who would not rather face the future with the Lord’s favor than without it? Would we not choose to obey Him and live under His protection and providence, rather than striking out in deliberate rebellion?


How can we, as individuals or even as nations, expect the Lord to rain blessings upon us, if we refuse to invite His leadership and laws into our lives?


Will you pray with me?


Holy God,

We are convicted and humbled,

As we are reminded

Of Your call to obedience.

Although we live under Your law of grace,

We also see the importance

Of obeying You

From this day forward.

We love You,

And we desire to reside

Under Your hand of blessing

All the days of our lives.

Help us to obey You.

Amen.


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