“I have set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Oh, that you would choose life…” Deuteronomy 30:19 TLB.
The ancient Israelites had to do it when they left Egypt. Ruth did it as well when she followed her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Bethlehem. And Rahab also did it when she allowed Joshua’s spies into her home in Jericho prior to its invasion and ultimate victory by Joshua. What did all three of these people do? They made a choice. And in each of these situations it was a life or death choice.
God is a God of choices. Think about it. He doesn’t force us to follow Him, but if we do, He provides blessings and we get to enjoy them! When we make a choice for Him, we choose life. “Choose life so that you and your descendants may live” (Deu. 30:19 NRSV). Choosing life brings His blessings. Think of life in this passage with the idea of movement.1 Authors of The Blessing, John Trent and Gary Smalley explain it this way: “In other words, things that are alive are things that are moving. Specifically, they’re moving toward someone or something. So the first choice we have is to move toward God and toward others. When we do that, we add life to our relationships.”2
Deuteronomy 30:19 shows us that God desires for us to do things His way–to choose life, but he does let us decide whether to follow him or reject him, but this decision really does boil down to a life or death concern. The word death also carries with it the concept of movement.3 Its literal meaning is “to step away.”4 This is conveyed through the action of stepping away from people, relationships, and other facets of life. When one or more family members takes a different path and moves away from the home relationships the process of decay in the relationship begins. But, by choosing life you do more than just step towards others, you also add, or pour blessings into their lives.
We have the freedom to make so many different choices in the span of our lives, but God reveals the best of all choices–choosing Him which leads to choosing life. Time is short. Choose life in Him.
On Monday, we’ll explore the second part of Deuteronomy 30:19, to bless or to curse. Please share your thoughts on today’s topic below. Thank you for visiting!
1 John Trent and Gary Smalley. The Blessing (Nashville, TN.,Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1993), 36.