Prophecy to the Nation of Israel
(Is Prophecy Conditional? - Page 3 of 4)
The prophecy to the nation spoken about by Jeremiah
"(Go back to page 2: Nations in Bible Prophecy of this 4-part study: Is Prophecy Conditional?)
was actually directed at Israel. It is interesting and most significant, that the context of these verses in Jeremiah, shows that his statement was given in regards to the nation of Israel. Jeremiah identified the subject as having to do with destroying Israel or building it up. The preceding verse is:
"O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel." (Jer 18:6)
Since this passage is given specifically in regard to Israel, it doesn't seem likely that conditionality is a policy that God uses for every country except Israel.
Prophecy follows a pattern. Here is a similar prophecy about the nation of Israel. God indicated that the temple would continue to stand only if His statutes and commandments were obeyed. God said to Solomon:
"But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: And though this house is so high, yet shall every one that passeth by it be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath Jehovah done thus into this land, and to this house? and they shall answer, Because they forsook [didn't obey] Jehovah their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath Jehovah brought all this evil upon them." (1 Kings 9:6-9)
What Does Conditionalism Tell Us About God?
What does the fact that God's promises and threats are conditional tell us about God? It tells us that He is responsive to us and is even willing to set aside His own plan in order to honor our free wills. In the end, the whole universe will see that God's way is best.
Sometimes God will change a prophecy to a nation or an individual, even one that sounds unconditional in response to us:
"In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live." (2 Kings 20:1)
Hezekiah's reaction was to plead with God for his life
"Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying," (2 Kings 20:2)
Quickly, the message came to Isaiah to change the prophecy:
"Turn again, and tell Hezekiah ... I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD." (2 Kings 20:5)
A prophecy to a nation or to an individual can be altered according to the actions of man because that is exactly its purpose - to alter the actions of man. To see that even more clearly,
go to Page 4: Failed Prophecy.