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May 04, 2022 18:30pm
If, Then, I Will
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The windows were down, the leather seats warm from the heat. It was usually about an hour, hour and a half, until the bus finally made it to Anderson Hill Rd. Brad Runsick sat in front of me, my buddies Johnny Powell and Matt Hix beside me. And the radio, tuned into 107.9, was cranked up loud and we’d sing to the top of our lungs.

I was in the sixth grade when Joe Diffie’s song, Third Rock from the Sun, came out. It was a hit. Even though we didn’t really understand what everything in the song meant, man, we knew the words and we sang them loud.

Cause and effect. That’s what the whole song was about. If this happened, then this would happen. A chain of events. A line in the song says, “all of this chaos makes perfect sense”. And there couldn’t be anything more true.

God gave the people of Israel commandments to follow in order to be right with Him. The book of Exodus gave us many of those commandments and then Leviticus has taken us through the detailed requirements for worship and daily life. As we come to chapter 26, we see some interesting words: IF, THEN, and I WILL.

Verses 3-13 speak about the rewards or blessings of God if the children of Israel obeyed. But then in verses 14-46, God lays out the punishment for disobedience to His commands.

“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.” (Leviticus 26: 3-4)

IF – THEN. Cause and effect. Makes perfect sense… right? If you do this, then I will do this. If that was the case for being blessed, it would be no different than when they were punished.

“And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.” (Leviticus 26:18)

Through the chapter, the words are consistent. If you do this, then I will do this. If you do this, I will do that.

IF, THEN, I WILL.

Cause and effect. It wasn’t like the Lord just decided He would cut off His people or cause harm to them or allow bad things to happen. No, it came as an effect because of their sin.

In this day and age, we don’t want to believe there are consequences for our sins. We want to only believe that God is loving and forgiving. He is, but He is also righteous. The shape the world is in right now is a great example of the cause and effect that takes place because of sin.

Friends, can I tell you that as a nation that claims we follow God, we need to repent? In America, money talks and our money says, “In God we trust”. Do we? What are we trusting about Him? That He will bless us? Why? Because we obeyed? What do we trust He will do when we disobey? Our pledge of allegiance states, “One nation, under God”. We are not just under God’s blessings my friends; we are under His authority!

Today, I’m asking you to join me in prayer and fasting for our nation. Pray for the sins of the people, the country as a whole, the leaders and lawmakers, the election, the decisions being made, our children, our teachers, our healthcare workers, our families, our morals, our desire to be led by God’s Holy Spirit… pray.

Prayer changes things. I want to be obedient to God. I want to receive His blessings, not His punishment.

If we will repent, then He will hear and forgive.

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