“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live!“ – Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT
It’s really quite simple. Choose life or choose death. Choose death or choose destruction. Choose blessing or choose cursing. In chapters 29-30, we have God making His commands quite clear to the people of Israel. Choose life so that you and your descendants might live. There were a lot of things about God the people did not understand. There were mysteries about Him they would never be able to explain or comprehend. But what He wanted from them was perfectly clear. “There are secret things that belong to the LORD our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our descendants forever, so that we may obey these words of the law” (Deuteronomy 29:29 NLT). He had revealed His law. He had given them His instructions. Now all they had to do was choose – to obey or disobey. This was not nuclear science.
“This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand or perform. It is not up in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go to heaven and bring it down so we can hear and obey it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.” – Deuteronomy 30:11-14 NLT
They knew perfectly well what God wanted. Now it was a matter of choice. “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between prosperity and disaster, between life and death” (Deuteronomy 30:15 NLT). They could choose to obey and experience the life He had promised them or they could choose to disobey and experience an existence void of blessings. You see to choose a life that is missing God is to choose no life at all. To live outside of His will and apart from His presence isn’t life, it’s death. Yet, even today, people will choose to live their lives apart from God and then learn that the life they seek is non-existent. The blessings they desire are unattainable. The joy they desire is nowhere to be found. To choose God is to choose life. To reject God is to reject His blessings. It’s that simple.
Over in the book of Romans, Paul quotes from this very passage in Deuteronomy when talking about the Jewish people and his desire that they choose life through Jesus Christ. “Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is that the Jewish people might be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Instead, they are clinging to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. They won’t go along with God’s way. For Christ has accomplished the whole purpose of the law. All who believe in him are made right with God. For Moses wrote that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands” (Romans 10:1-5 NLT). Paul goes on to quote directly from Deuteronomy 30 when he says, “But the way of getting right with God through faith says, “You don’t need to go to heaven” (to find Christ and bring him down to help you). And it says, “You don’t need to go to the place of the dead” (to bring Christ back to life again). Salvation that comes from trusting Christ––which is the message we preach––is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, ‘The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart'” (Romans 10:6-8 NLT). The message was simple. Paul was preaching it. Choose life. Choose Christ. It was that simple. The gospel message is incredibly simple. Choose life through Christ. Jesus Himself said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again” (John 11:25 NLT). He is life everlasting. And He is offering it to all who will accept it. And He offers it to those of who are already His followers – on a daily basis. He came that we might have life to the full. He said, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” (John 10:10 NLT). Full life. Abundant life. Choose life. Choose to make Christ your Lord and Savior. It’s really that simple.
Father, we try to make everything too difficult. We want to understand all mysteries. We want to be able to explain who You are and how everything in the universe works. But what we really want is life and You offer it through Your Son. While we’re busy looking for answers, we tend to walk right past the solution to all of life’s problems. The abundant life we seek is found in Jesus, not in knowing more and more. It’s so simple, but we try to make it so complex. Open our eyes. Help us see that to choose Jesus is to choose life. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men