“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call the heavens and the 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…” Deuteronomy 30: 11-20
Recently, I went to see the movie “Strait Out of Compton” and walked away from the film with an understanding once again for the choices we make in life. Of the three central people in this biopic, we have rappers Eazy E, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. Each started out in the same neighborhood and although each had different family units, at one point in their lives they would merge into the controversial group N.W.A. As the story progressed, we see the rise of all three individuals and we also see some of the impact from their choices. Rapper Eazy E died of AIDS within 10 days of diagnosis and after being admitted to a hospital; rapper, Dr. Dre, is now a modern day billionaire – yet his personal life has been peppered with loss (his brother which is shown in the film, friends in the industry, and his son in 2008 due to a drug overdose) and abuse against women; and rapper Ice Cube, who left the group early to start a solo career and then branched out into a successful career writing, producing, and acting in movies, and who happens to be a husband and father of four with his wife. Regardless of what we think of their respective outcomes in life and their level of success, the choices they made impacted their lives – good, bad, indifferent, and unreported.
The same can be said for us and the same was to be said for the children of Israel. The choices they made impacted their lives – good, bad, indifferent, yet very much reported via the biblical record. The irony of Deuteronomy 30, is that as Moses delivered the Words of God to the children of Israel which tells them of the choice between life and death and blessings and curses, God in His omniscient knew which choice they would make. Yet He gave them the choice and foreknowledge of life or death anyway. He gave it to Adam and Eve in the garden; through His son, He has given us the same choice. The choice to choose God is around us every day. The most important choice you will ever make is the choice to live, breathe, and believe God. For nonbelievers that choice starts with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and for believers the choices intensify after we choose Jesus Christ as savior, i.e. choices to die to self daily, a choice to submit to Christ, and to live life following His commands.
May every choice you make this week, be a choice centered on Jesus Christ, prompted by the Holy Spirit, and which will result in glory to God, the Father. In other words, may your choices be choices of life and not death.
Walk with Him this week,