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Insight #40 — God’s Unconditional Promise

May 20, 2000.

From Genesis to Revelation, God’s promises and warnings are based on certain conditions. God said to Cain, “if you do well, will you not be accepted?” (Genesis 4:7). Jesus warned us all, “if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15). “If” is a little word with big meaning, found more than 1,400 times in Scripture. Over and over again in Scripture, we are told that what God does with us depends upon what we do with God.

But some of God’s plans and promises are too everlastingly important to depend upon fickle human beings. Psalm 89, dealing with the descendents of David, is a powerful mixture of conditional and unconditional promises of God. Verses 30-32 contain God’s usual conditional warning: “if his [David’s] children forsake my law… then will I visit their transgression with the rod.”

Then comes the word, “nevertheless.” Says the Almighty, “Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him… My covenant will I not break… Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me” (verses 33-36).

This means that no matter how evil the descendents of David would become, our loving God would still send “the Son of David”  into the world to become our King. An unconditional promise. No “ifs”, “ands” or “buts” about it. Regardless of how bad David’s descendents would become (remember Manasseh?), God would still carry out his eternal plan. He would not change His mind. The “Son of David” would come into the world “to seek and to save that which was lost.” Praise God for His unconditional promise! Without it, there would be no “Good News” for the world today.