Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon saying, 12 “Concerning this house which you are building, IF you will walk in My statutes and execute My ordinances and keep all My commandments by walking in them, then I will carry out My word with you which I spoke to David your father. 13 I will dwell among the sons of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel,” (6:11-13 emphasis added).
Sadly, we know how Solomon’s story ends. While he was proclaimed to be the wisest man who ever lived, he was not the most prudent. Prudence is the practical application of wisdom; in other words it is putting the wisdom you know into practice. From Solomon we learn it is not enough to know wisdom, one must follow through and do what one knows.
But if Solomon, with all his wisdom, could not keep this seemingly impossible demand, His Impossible If, who on earth can?
Consider His Impossible If
Why did God demand His Impossible If? For He knows the end before it even begins. “Declaring the end from the beginning…” (Isaiah 46:10).
He knew from the beginning Solomon would not keep all His commandments.
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods. 3 He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. 4 For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been, (I Kings 11:1-4).
And Solomon was not alone in being confronted with His Impossible If. The law, given by Moses, was also filled with insurmountable odds seemingly stacked against God’s chosen people:
“Now it shall be, IF you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you IF you obey the Lord your God,” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2 emphasis added).
So why His Impossible If? His Word answers clearly.
Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith, (Galatians 3:24).
It is His generous grace; for in His Impossible If we come face to face with our total inability and desperate need for what only One can uphold.
- His Impossible If Illuminates what only what He can do.
- “Then who can be saved?” 26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:25-26).
- His Impossible If Instructs us in His only way, His grace gift of eternal life and righteousness through faith.
- Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” (John 14:6).
- Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified… 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly,” (Galatians 2:16, 21).
- His Impossible If Introduces Him as the master builder apart from man’s works.
- The house, while it was being built, was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built, (6:7).
- for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure, (Philippians 2:13).
- you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 2:5).
How do we respond to His Impossible If?
It just seems too simple, too uncomplicated, too Impossible… that our only involvement is to receive His grace through faith. But there it is… His Impossible If, which depends on Him and Him alone to fulfill. And all He asks of us… is to believe.
IF you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation, (Romans 10:9-10 emphasis added)
IF anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, (2 Corinthians 5:17 emphasis added).
Let us trust Him to accomplish what only He can do, His Impossible If, in His perfect way and time.
…So he was seven years in building it, (6:38) [in Scripture, the number seven often represents completeness and achievement].
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus, (Philippians 1:6).
And may we never forget His Impossible If is achieved and completed in Him and Him alone!
What then shall we say to these things? IF God is for us, who is against us? (Romans 8:31 emphasis added).