Deuteronomy 30:15-19 - We Have a Choice: Life or Death.
Deuteronomy 30:15-19 - We Have a Choice: Life or Death.
Deuteronomy 30:15, 19, 20 (NCV) Look, today I offer you life and
success, death and destruction. Today I ask heaven and earth to be
witnesses. I am offering you life or death, blessings or curses. Now,
choose life! Then you and your children may live. To choose life is to
love the LORD your God, obey him, and stay close to him. He is your
life, and he will let you live many years in the land, the land he
promised to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Deuteronomy 30:15, 19, 20 (TLB) "Look, today I have set before
you life and death, depending on whether you obey or disobey. "I
call heaven and earth to witness against you that today I have set
before you life or death, blessing or curse. Oh, that you would choose
life; that you and your children might live! Choose to love the Lord
your God and to obey him and to cling to him, for he is your life and
the length of your days. You will then be able to live safely in the
land the Lord promised your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
The most significant choice any human being can make is the
choice between life and death; between loving and serving God, and
ignoring Him. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
The possibilities of life for every man are ultimately reduced
to two. One is to love God with all one's powers. The end result is
life in all its fullness, ultimately merging into immortality. The
alternative is a disregard of God's good pleasure, with one's life devoted
to the things of this earth. A life spent persistently in such a
way leads to eternal death. These alternatives challenge every man
and woman born into the world. [SDA Bible Commentary]
Everyone has a life-or-death decision to make. We have been
created with the supreme privilege of free will, the ability to choose.
Even when we are in the bondage of our addiction, we still have
choices confronting us. When we are in recovery, we face the nagging
lure of choosing to fall back into our addiction. The freedom to
choose brings with it the burden of the results of our choices. And
these choices affect our life and the lives of our children. Free
will is our blessing and our responsibility! [Life Recovery SB]
Moses challenged Israel to choose life, to obey God, and
therefore continue to experience his blessings. God doesn't force his will
on anyone. He lets us decide whether to follow him or reject him.
This decision, however, is a life-or-death matter. God wants us to
realize this, for he would like us all to choose life. Daily, in each
new situation, we must affirm and reinforce this commitment. [Life
God has called us to keep his commands, while reminding us that
his laws are not hidden from us or beyond our reach. Have you ever
said you would obey God if you knew what he wanted? Have you ever
complained that obedience is too difficult for a mere human? These are
unacceptable excuses. God's laws are written in the Bible and are clearly
evident in the world around us. Obeying them is reasonable, sensible,
and beneficial. The most difficult part of obeying God's laws is
simply deciding to start now. [Life Application SB]
Christians have been saved from the ultimate effect of sin -
eternal separation from God. However, sin still presents problems that
must be addressed. It can separate you from the blessings God has for
you, and, worse, it can disrupt your fellowship with God Himself.
Moses here reminded this new generation of Israelites that, even
though their parents had turned their backs on God, they could have a
fresh start. God would bless them if they would turn from sin and
choose to obey him.
Just as he did for the Hebrew nation, God sets before you the
choices each day of obedience or disobedience. And he challenges you to
turn away from sin and to obey.
Your obedience will be imperfect. You will make wrong
choices. You will sin. But God is merciful. He wants to forgive you and
bring you back into fellowship with Himself. Always come to God and
ask for his forgiveness. He promises to give it. Then seek to learn
a lesson from your sin and move on. Determine that next time you
will choose to obey instead. [The One Year Bible for New Believers re
Picture this: You're driving along at fifty miles per hour on
a cloudy day. The road ahead is suddenly narrow, with deep,
unforgiving ditches on both sides. But the two endless lines of fluorescent
orange cones that line the road on either side keep you out of trouble.
If you think of the curses in this reading as fluorescent
orange cones, you come pretty close to their meaning. If you understand
that those cones are really doing you a favor, you can't help but be
happy about them. The cones help everyone. The other chapters in this
section of Deuteronomy are proof enough of that.
There are other road signs in today's reading: something to
remember when it looks as if the world is falling apart; seeking God with
all your heart, soul, and strength; and following a plan of action
no matter how badly you've sinned.
Read Deuteronomy 27 - 30.
The curses God wanted his people to remember were a series of
oaths, spoken by the priests and affirmed by those listening, in which
the people promised to stay away from wrong actions (Deuteronomy 27:
15-26). Those saying Amen "So be it," were taking responsibility for
Sometimes looking at a list of curses like this gives us the
idea that God has a bad temper and is out to crush anyone who steps
out of line. But we need to see these restrictions not as threats
but as loving warnings about the plain facts of life. Wrongdoing
toward others or God has tragic consequences, and God is merciful
enough to tell us this truth plainly. His strong words help us avoid
the serious consequences that result from neglecting God or wronging
others. Just as we warn children to stay away from hot stoves and busy
streets, God warns us to stay away from dangerous actions. [The One Year
Through the Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman re Deu. 27 - 30]
Perhaps the best analogy to the commitment God asks us to
make to Him is the wedding ceremony. The wedding comes as the
culmination of months (or better, years) of gradually coming to know another
person. In time friendship blossoms into love, or initial attraction
deepens into appreciation. Then each person realizes, "I want to spend
my life with this individual!" Then the two plan a wedding--a
ceremony to announce to one and all that two people have decided to
cleave only to each other, for better or for worse, in sickness and in
health, till death do them part.
Yet it's fascinating. That ceremony, the culmination of so
many young women's dreams, isn't an end but a beginning. It is the
beginning of a lifetime of acting on the decision that the ceremony
marked. It is the start of a lifetime of making choices shaped by the
fact that at a particular point in time, two people stood side by
side and committed themselves to one another. For then. And forever.
It's just this kind of ceremony that is in view in
Deuteronomy 30. Moses calls on the new generation to make a life-shaping
decision. Moses calls on Israel to make a commitment to God, to choose
life with Him, and then to carry out that commitment the rest of
As Moses says, the life this commitment calls for "is not too
difficult for you or beyond your reach." That life is spelled out in the
word God has given us, a near word, in our mouths and in our hearts.
Make and keep this commitment, Moses promised, and "you will live and
increase, and the Lord your God will bless you." Hold back or turn away,
and "you will certainly be destroyed."
We Christians need to realize that our initial relationship
with Jesus is intended to grow and deepen to the point at which we
too realize, "I want to commit my life to this Person who loves me."
That realization may come in church, in response to a pastor's call.
It may happen in the privacy of your own room, reading devotional
literature like this book. When the realization does come, then you too
have a decision to make. Will I commit myself fully to God, realizing
that this decision will shape my choices for the rest of my life?
Perhaps Moses himself gives us the most compelling reason to
make that commitment now. "This day," he says, "I call heaven and
earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and
death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your
children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His
voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and He will
give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers,
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" (vv. 19-20). [The 365-Day Devotional
My dearest child,
The world holds out to you a surface sort of happiness that
depends on favorable circumstances. But I hold out joy.
The world offers relationships fraught with hidden agendas
and self-serving motives. I offer love, gracious and unconditional.
The world holds out blame and shame and condemnation. I hold
out forgiveness and the road to a new beginning.
The world rewards you with addictions and compulsions and
momentary gratification. But I will fill you with peace that passes
The world offers broken contracts, vows, and promises. I give
you my Word, that never changes.
The world runs hot and cold. One day you're valued and
respected; the next you're forgotten like yesterday's headlines. But my
character is love, and I am the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Oh, my child, do not fall in love with the world. It holds
out to you only an imitation of life. I hold out life, abundant and
free. Choose real life!
Your God. by Claire Cloninger; Postcards from Heaven.
1 Choose Christ
I choose kindness ...
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone, kind to the
rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God
has treated me.
I choose goodness...
1 will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I
will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will
accuse. I chose goodness.
I choose faithfulness...
Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret
their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not
question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will
not come home.
I choose gentleness...
Nothing is won by force. I chose to be gentle.
If I raise my voice may it only be in praise.
If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer.
If I make a demand, may it only be of myself.
I chose self-control...
I am a spiritual being...
After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let
what will rot, rule the eternal.
I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be
impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God.
I will be taught only by Christ.
1 choose self-control.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self-control.
To these I commit my day.
If I succeed, I will give thanks.
If I fail, I will seek his grace.
And then, when this day is done,
I will place my head on my pillow and rest. by Max Lucado;
When God Whispers Your Name.
John 17:3 (KJV) And this is life eternal, that they might know
thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
1 John 5:11-12 (KJV) And this is the record, that God hath given
to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath
the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not
John 11:25-26 (KJV) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection,
and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet
shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never
die. Believest thou this?
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