In all of the above cases, God wants us to do the following in some special ways. There is also some dos and donts. If it is done properly, then God is willing to give us Rewards. Ok, to understand why this conditions were provided, we need to understand the context of the conditional messages on the Sermon on the Mount and why there was the do's and dont's.
To understand this we need to understand about the covenant relationship between God and Man.
What is a Covenant? Covenant is a contract between two parties.
There are many parties. (a) Between Man and Man (b) Between Nations and Nations (c) Between God and Man. Also there are Types of covenants. There are 2 types, and they are (a) Conditional and (b) Unconditional covenant relationships.
(I) Let us understand some of the history as well. We know about the history of events that took place between Adam and Eve. Read the verses in Genesis Ch 1: versus 16- 19.
To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
- Couple of things are noticeable here that Man and Woman were created equal, but the curses created new divisions and issues.
- Woman is cursed to bear child with pain
- Man will rule over woman
- Desire for husband will be added.
2. Man will also have some issues
- Need to toil more than originally designed
- Will sweat for more food
- Will die in sin
- Will eat plants for food.
3. Plus we know the consequences of not following the Law.
(II) After Adam and Eves curse comes the Noah’s Covenant. Please read Genesis 9: 1 – 17
In the context you will see that God says the following
- Man can eat all that "lives" and "moves" which includes plants and animals
- Man is not supposed to eat meat with blood.
- God will ask an account of all the blood of living beings.
- Never again will lives be taken away by floods.
(III) For Abram’s covenant, please read Genesis Ch 15.
- This was an unconditional covenant that was credited to Abraham as righteous.
- A son will come from his blood to make a great nation
- The region of the land was also mentioned where the nation will be set.
(IV) God also gave Moses his covenants. Please read through Exodus 20 – 23 and 24.
6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he splashed against the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.”
8 Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
- Via Moses, God made a covenant relationship between the people of Israel.
- This was read out to all the people of Israel and sealed with the blood of the bulls.
Please also read Deuternomony 27 : 15 - 27. This will tell that the people of Israel had to take more curses if they did not follow the Laws provided to the people of Israel. There were 12 curses and 4 blessings. Entering into the promised land came with curses.
(V) In the case of Jesus Christ and the new Kingdom that is yet to come, has all the blessing. The kingdom starts with blessings as in Mathew Ch 5. To get the additional rewards in the new Kingdom, it also comes with conditions. The verses in Mathew Ch 6: 1-18 are some of the conditions. These conditions are for (a) Giving Alms (b) Prayer (c) Fasting.