Summary: If we listen carefully to God’s voice and do what He says, He will bless.
The “If” In God’s Blessing Ex. 15:26
INTRO.: Context. The Lord had led Israel out of Egypt with a mighty hand. They were days away from slavery. Now Moses delivers God’s promise of blessing, and it is conditioned on Israel’s obedience. There’s a big “if.”
Let’s look at the conditions under which God promised to care for Israel and see if we can’t find some guidelines for seeking His blessing in the 21st century.
I. Listen to the voice of God.
A. Where do you hear Him?
1. In His written Word.
2. In the fellowship of His Church and guidance from fellow Christians.
3. In opportunities He provides, doors He opens..
4. In our conscience and the urging of the Holy spirit
B. How do you know it is God speaking?
1. He will never call us to do anything or reveal anything to us inconsistent with His written Word.
2. He will never call upon you to do anything that tends to divide the Body of Christ.
3. Did the message come in response to sincere prayer?
C. “Listen carefully.”
1. More than just perfunctory attention.
2. ILLUS.: When I was traveling with a frtiend, he stopped to ask directions. Immediately he turned to me and asked, “Which way did he say to turn?” He had failed to listen carefully.
3. Like a teacher who says, “You will be quizzed on this,” God will hold us accountable.
II. Do what He says.
A. What Israel did. Ch. 16
1. Less than 2 months out of egypt, they started grumbling. Vs. 2
2. Disobeyed God when He provided for their needs. Vs. 20
3. Violated His Sabbath. Vs. 27
B. Parable of two houses. Matt. 7:24ff
1. Jesus previously warned that not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter the Kingdom. 21-23
2. Then he tells the story of two builders. One put His words into practice and one didn’t.
3. The only difference between the two is what each did with the words of Jesus. Both heard them.
C. In America today, we have a “lip service” Christianity.
1. We claim to love the Lord, but less than 10% attend worship services.
2. We are deeply concerned about animal rights, but abort over 1 million babies a year.
3. Drugs, gambling, sex are multi-billion dollar industries.
4. Yet, there are probably more Bibles, per person, in the U.S. than in any other nation on earth
5. We have His Word, but we don’t “do what is right in His eyes.”
III. Great blessings are promised.
A. Look what God promised Israel:
1. None of the diseases prevalent in Egypt.
2. God had visited terrible plagues on Egypt: Blood, Frogs, Gnats, Flies, Plague on livestock, festering boils, hail storm, locusts, darkness, death.
3. Who knows what other diseases had afflicted the Egyptians before God determined to free His people?
B. Observe what is happening in our nation today:
1. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer increase as self-indulgence increases.
2. Drugs are a major problem. They generate theft, violence, and murder.
3. We are plagued with an epidemic that could be stopped in one generation if we returned to God’s standard for sexual behavior.
C. We need to put God back on the throne and He will bless us richly.
1. 2 Chron 7:14 - “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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
2. This promise, made to Israel, was fulfilled again and again.
3. We are always ready to seek God’s blessing. We need to seek the Blesser.
CONC.: We need to listen carefully to the voice of God, but we also need to do what He says. It is the way to His promised blessings. God will bless, but there is a big “if.”