Bible Q & A
Some say that prophecy is conditional in certain instances. Could you please elaborate?
Yes, certain parts of the prophetic writings
are conditional, although some prophecies such as those
predicting Christ’s second coming and the utopian millennial
reign are unconditional.
man a choice; if we repent He will have mercy on us.
Leviticus 26 illustrates this principle. It enumerates the
blessings and curses prophesied to come upon ancient Israel
according to whether or not they kept the covenant God made
concept is found in Deuteronomy 29 and 30: “When all these
things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I
have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the
nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and return
to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey his
voice in all that I command you this day, with all your
heart and with all your soul; then the Lord your God will
restore your fortunes, and have compassion upon you, and he
will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord
your God has scattered you. . . .and he will make you more
prosperous and numerous than your fathers. . . .And the Lord
your God will put all these curses upon your foes and
enemies who persecuted you . . . . for the Lord will again
take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your
fathers, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God . .
.with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut.
book of Jonah is an account of how God sent one of His
prophets to the ancient city of Nineveh to warn them of
their impending doom if they did not mend their ways. They
repented and “proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from
the greatest of them to the least of them: (Jonah 3:5). And
“When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil
way, God repented of the evil which he had said he would do
to them; and he did not do it” (verse 10).
example of the outcome of prophecy being delayed by
repentance is found in II Chronicles 32. God had
miraculously healed Hezekiah of a fatal disease, “But
Hezekiah did not make return according to the benefit done
to him, for his heart was proud. Therefore wrath came upon
him and Judah and Jerusalem” (verse 25). God told him,
“Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house
. . . shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left . .
. “ (II Kings 20:17). “But Hezekiah humbled himself for the
pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of
Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon
them in the days of Hezekiah” (II Chron. 32:26). Again,
when a nation or individual repents, God has mercy on them.