The Big Word IF: the Hinge Upon Which History Swings
“If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments … then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit…I will give peace.” Leviticus 26:3-6 The two-letter word if has been called one of the most important words in our vocabulary.
Think of what if can mean. If President Lincoln had not become president, and if he had lost the battle for the Union and against slavery, how would our nation be different? If we had lost to Hitler in WWII, how different would the world be today?
If is like a hinge upon which history swings one direction or the other. You can play the if game throughout history, but nowhere is it more profoundly used than in the Bible. Over and over God says “If my people... If you listen…If you abide in my Word.”
In a book often overlooked for its wisdom, chapters 26-27 of Leviticus uses if 32 times!
The ifs are not only important to Israel’s history, but also to us personally.
God’s love for us is constant, but the consequences of our actions if we choose to disobey or ignore Him are life altering.
When Leviticus was written, Israel was a childlike nation. Leviticus represents the maturing of the nation, guided by regulations and laws that protected their health and their emerging culture.
Kind of like us, right? The rules parents give to young children aren’t to ruin their fun, but to keep them safe and to teach them how to find happiness, prosperity, joy, and strength to deal with life’s hardships.
Parents still love their children when they mess up. Our Heavenly Father even more so–which is why He longs for us to listen to those ifs. IF we listen, IF we obey, IF we walk close to the Lord, we are in a position to receive His blessings individually, and as a nation.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
That’s a big IF we desperately need today!