God’s PROMISES are always ‘CONDITIONAL’: "As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, 'You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.'" (2 Chron. 7:17-18)
Even though King David was a ‘man after God’s own heart’ (Acts 13:22), the Bible does not record any instance of God ever appearing to David in person or even through a dream. God used His prophet Nathan to give David instructions time after again. During other times David had to use the ephod through the priest Abiathar to get specific directions regarding which course to take moving forward (see 1 Sam. 30:7-8).
However, the Bible records in multiple places that Jehovah God appeared to King Solomon at least two times. The second time that God appeared to Solomon was sometime after the temple had been completed. During this instance, God assured Solomon that He would answer Solomon’s prayer about the people in the future days to come. However, His blessings on the people of Israel would be contingent on their seeking His face in humility and contrition. Once these people would meet His conditions, God would hear their prayers from His temple!
God challenged Solomon to remain faithful to Him and to the laws of the covenant so that he could enjoy the full benefit of God’s blessing. The temple was the special point of contact between God Himself and the chosen people whom He had elected and brought into covenant fellowship with Him. However, if the Israelites failed to meet His terms, they could expect to be uprooted from the land of the temple and become a proverb. This incarnated what it meant to be a disobedient servant of the Most High God!
So, if Solomon would live in obedience before God, His throne would be established and his descendants would perpetually sit upon it. On the other hand, if Solomon and his people forsook the Lord for other gods, they would be carried into captivity, and God would reject the temple so that it would be an object of testimony to the nations that Israel had forsaken the Lord (vv. 19-20). It is clear that God’s promise was conditioned on Israel’s faithfulness and obedience!
Throughout the Old Testament, there are many other promises given to the Israelites that are conditional in nature:
- Exodus 19:5-6: "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."
- Deut. 28:1: "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth."
- Isaiah 1:19-20: "If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
- Jeremiah 4:1: "If you will return, O Israel," says the Lord, "return to Me; and if you will put away your abominations out of My sight, then you shall not be moved."
- Jeremiah 31:36: "If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the Lord, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever."
When Jesus gave his final warning to the seven churches in the book of Revelation, each of the promises that were stated by the words: “to him who overcomes I will…” were conditional in nature (see Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 21). The final words of Jesus to the church of the Laodiceans were conditional as well: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me" (Rev. 3:20). Let us obey and trust God as we claim His promises never forgetting that God’s promises are always conditional in nature!