My boys were playing a game yesterday that they termed
"Conditionals." In the game, each player takes a turn offering a
longed-for prize to anyone in the game who will accept their condition.
Unfortunately, the condition is always on the negative side...For
example, my son suggested that you could choose one law and make it
totally legal. The condition was that something that you did every day
would become illegal, and it was totally out of your control what that
Perhaps, but it makes its participants think!
It made me think, too. Especially when I opened my Bible to Exodus 19 this morning. God said to Moses: "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. ‘And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." (Exod 19:3-6, NKJV)
As I read these words, I realized that the silly game my boys had participated in the previous day was perhaps not so silly at all! In fact, it's a game God also plays! God promised that the people of Israel would be God's special treasure, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation! The condition? They would have to obey God's voice and keep Gods covenants!
It didn't sound like such a horrible thing to have to commit to. After all, how hard could it be to obey God’s voice? And the promise was certainly worth the condition!
It didn't take Israel long to decided, however, that the promise was not quite worth the condition. You see, the condition set them apart, made them different, from the other nations. They didn’t want to be "set apart." They didn't want to be "different." They wanted to worship foreign gods, just like the nations around them did. They wanted to marry foreign women and do all the other things that the other nations did. They rejected God's promise because the condition was just too big.
"What?" we say, "Are they nuts?"
Are we any better? God continues to promise us that we are a chosen generation, a kingdom of priests, a Holy Nation--"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light..." (1 Peter 2:9 See also 1 Peter 2:5, Rev. 1:6) But He still has a condition on the offer: "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4:7 NKJV) We are to submit ourselves totally and completely to Him!
That condition continues to have the same effect on us that it had on Israel: It makes us "different." It sets us apart, and just like Israel of old, we have no desire to be set apart, to be different. Thus, we reject God's promise.
The thing is, God would never make us this promise if it weren't well worth the conditions He has laid out, and those of us who have, even in part, accepted God's conditions, and have, even in part, experienced the beauty of the promise, will attest that the promise is well worth the condition.
Let's put aside our little "problem" with being different. Let's accept His condition and sell ourselves out completely to God. Then and only then will we experience true living, the beauty of the life God has for each of us today!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.