One of the most bittersweet things about growing up is the ability to make your own choices. When my boys were babies, there weren’t many choices for them to make. Neither seemed to have an opinion about which onesie they would rather spit up on that day (or hour, as the changing of the wardrobe guard was quite frequent in those days). But as they are getting older, we find that they are able to make choices on their own. The three year old can choose to play with his trains or dress up as Spiderman. The six year old can choose to play his game system or head outside and toss a football. These are the less important of the choices they make. But there are other choices that are of greater consequence: “Do I talk back or hold my tongue? Do I help my brother or tease him? Do I pitch a fit or do I obey respectfully?” It is a parent’s responsibility to teach their children the importance of making good choices, and the consequences of making bad ones; we must not shirk at our duties to do so.
Moses did this for the Israelites as well here in our passage today. Moses told them, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed shall live.”
Well, Brother Moses, it seems like an easy choice here-life or death; blessing or cursing. It doesn’t really take a rocket scientist to make the best choice, you know? But when it comes to spiritual life and death, and spiritual blessing and cursing, the choice becomes more difficult. Choosing spiritual obedience over temporal pleasure is much more difficult than it would seem, but these are the choices that hold the greater consequences. Spiritual obedience takes work, and it means making right choices. Maybe you have found yourself making spiritually unwise choices lately. I think we all do more than we would care to acknowledge. Start with those smaller daily choices. The choice to lay aside a few minutes each day for quiet time with God in prayer and Bible reading. The choice to hold your tongue when you have ‘every right’ to lash out. The choice to lead a healthy lifestyle. The choice to edify your spouse rather than belittle them. So many choices, and we have the opportunity to make the right ones. Most of these choices regard obedience over sin. Just for today, choose life. Choose blessing. Then verse 20 will be your reward:
“That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days:”
Daily Read: Deut. 29-31, Focus Verse Deut. 30:19-20