If…One of the most profound words in the entire Bible

Many words stand out in the Word of God as paramount: Salvation, Grace, Mercy, Forgiveness, Redemption, Reconciliation, Propitiation, Longsuffering, Patience, Kindness, Love. These words are generally all seen originating from God’s point of view. They are from Heaven looking towards the earth.

One of the most profound words from man’s perspective found in the Word of God is If. This perspective is because he is confronted with the if and is thus given a choice with resulting ramifications. The ramifications are from God but the choice stems from the heart of man.

An If was given to Cain to cause him to turn in obedience to the Lord. (Genesis4:7) Lot was given an If to choose which direction he would go and land he would inhabit. (Genesis 13:9) The Hebrew midwives were given an If when they were commanded to kill the Hebrews’ baby boys.

[i] (Exodus 1:16) Pharaoh was given ten Ifs when he was confronted to let God’s people go. (Exodus) Israel was given an If when God asked them to obey His commands. (Exodus 19:3-5; Deuteronomy 11)Solomon was given an If when he was taught to follow his father’s God. (I Chronicles 28:9) Daniel’s three friends were given an if when they were commanded to fall before the golden image. They responded with obedience and gave the king an if in their deliverance by Almighty God. (Daniel 3:15-17)

Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

I Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.[ii]

II Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?[iii]

John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Any time a man is presented with truth, He has been presented with an IF. He must determine what he will then do with that truth!

If represents a word of condition. It is not guaranteed to happen. It has not happened yet.

If represents a word of volition. It established a choice. The word demands a choice.

If represents a word of consequence. It carries with is ramifications both positive and negative depending upon how one responds to the word.

God is the author who has orchestrated the ramifications and expectations behind the If. He is Almighty God. The conditions of the if rest upon the character and truth of the Word of God. God has laid out what He expects and what happens …if…then!

Leviticus chapter twenty-six presents some of the most remarkable blessings and blights that can come into a life, depending upon how they respond to this one little word…if.

If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will … But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even … And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will … And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring … And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also … And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will … If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity…Then…                                                                                           (Leviticus 26:3, 14, 15, 18, 21, 23, 27, 40, 41, 42)

God has given us the manual of what to expect when we make choices. We must not then be surprised with the outcomes.

What should be my response to these conditional statements?

  1. Obedience—vs. 3, 14-15
  2. Hearkening when disobedient—vs. 18, 21, 27
  3. Reformation and Repentance—vs. 23
  4. Confessions and Honesty—vs. 40
  5. Humility—vs. 41[iv]

If…Then…I will!

The Conditions are evident before us, the volition is resident within us, and the consequences will be played out in front of us! What choice will we make?


[i] There are Ifs of God’s providence also noted in the Word of God. Man views his circumstances to see If the Lord is in them! (Genesis 24; Judges 6; Esther 4:16)

[ii] If can also denote a statement of truth verses error.

[iii] How one responds to If will determine the difference between Heaven and Hell for all eternity.

[iv] Humility accepts personal responsibility and direct culpability for sin. It does not shift blame or make excuses.