Deuteronomy 30-31: Choose life

Verse 19  from Deuteronomy chapter 30 is one of those verses that has stuck in my mind.  I haven’t purposefully memorized it (not that I remember anyway) but it is in my head. I can’t really explain why, but this verse strikes me as very significant. “I call heaven and earth as witnessed against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live…”  In fact this whole section of Deuteronomy 30 is incredible.

Choose life.  I’ve already mentioned a couple of times in these rantings that we have choice as people. Warren Wiersbe, in his commentary on Deuteronomy (“BE” Equipped; DavidcCook, 1999) writes: “Because we’re created in the image of God, we have minds to think with, hearts to feel with, and will to decide with, and God calls us to make right decisions. We’re not robots; we can hear God’s Word, learn God’s will and decided either to obey or disobey.” So choose.  In the case of us modern folk, that choice is not between the blessing and curse of the law but between “salvation by the grace of God or condemnation by the righteousness of God”(another Weirsbe quote which I think is a brilliant explanation).  Eternal life and eternal death.

Moses makes it sound so simple. God’s Word is not hidden from us, it has been revealed to us. It is not in heaven that we have to implore God for it; it is not across the sea that we have to send explorers to find it. God has placed it beyond our reach, but has in fact placed in our mouths and on our hearts. This truth is even more true for us as Christians through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We have intimate access to God, his Word and his Will. In fact, I would say that this is one of those Old Testament passages that transcends the Old Testament and would be perfectly suited in the New Testament. There is powerful truth in these words from Moses…and it is so simple. Love God, walk in his ways and live OR turn away from God, follow other gods and perish.

It would seem that the only sensible solution is to choose life.  And it’s not hard.

Happy reading.

  • What was familiar from this passage of scripture?  What was something I already knew?
  •  What was new from this piece of scripture?  What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
  • Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
  •  How does this passage apply to my life, here and now?  Do I need to do anything about it?
  •  What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?

Tomorrow’s Reading: Deuteronomy 32-34, Psalm 91

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