While doing my quiet time this morning I read a devotion that quoted Deuteronomy 30:19; “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live..”
There is so much richness in this text and the previous chapters. The Israelites have survived the 40 years in the desert and now they stand at the very edge of the Promised Land. The LORD tells Moses to give a farewell address to the Israelites. Moses will not be going into the Promised Land. He had disobeyed God and in doing so he had lost his privilege to enter the Promised Land. It may sound unfair that Moses wasn’t allowed in, but God was very merciful in His consequences.
Moses stands before the Israelites and gives some of the last commands God wants them to know. Starting in Deuteronomy 27 Moses and the elders of Israel tell the Israelites to set up large stones on either side of the valley they will walk through and cover them with plaster. All of the laws, along with all of the blessings and curses that would come from either obedience or disobedience would be written on these large rocks.
I love the image of over 2 million people walking between the two difference choices they could make as they entered the Promised Land. We walk between the same choices every day.
The verses in Deuteronomy 30 lay out simple directions. “This day 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, Issac, and Jacob (19-20).”
Joshua becomes the Leader of the Israelites in chapter 31 and Moses says to him, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with His people into the land that the LORD swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged ( Deuteronomy 31:7-8).”
Every day when I wake up I must choose; life or death, blessings or curses. When I choose life and blessings I also am encouraged because the LORD Himself goes before me and will be with me. He will never leave me or forsake me.
I know what I am choosing. What will you choose?