Life or Death?
"If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it." Deuteronomy 30:16 ESV
Have you ever been faced with a life or death situation? Your survival based on a decision, perhaps even unwittingly, you made. Maybe you made a split-second decision to change lanes immediately before you witnessed a fatal car accident. Or a trip to the doctor for some small unrelated thing that resulted in identifying a much larger, life-threatening issue. Often we may have been in a life or death situation and didn't even realize it.
In today's passage, Moses is preparing Israel for entrance into the Promised Land. He has recounted to them the experiences of Israel since leaving Egypt. Soon he will hand over leadership to Joshua, but first, he wants them to understand how God has delivered them and what they must do. In verse 15, he says, "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil." He goes on to make it clear that if they live righteously, they will prosper, but if they do not, the results will be disastrous. Moses wants them to enjoy the land they have waited for so long and all its goodness, but given their history of bad decisions, he also wants them to know there are consequences for their actions. Poor choices are a reoccurring theme throughout the Bible, starting in the Garden of Eden. God gives man an option, man chooses poorly.
It doesn't have to be like that, though. God earnestly desires for us to make good choices and to live righteously. We are witnesses every day to what happens when we conscientiously make decisions counter to God's desires. We see the brokenness and the injustices that result. Have you ever heard the quote, "the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result"? Let's try something different today, let's try it God's way, turning to God with repentance and contrition.
God, we thank you for your boundless love, compassion, and understanding. Despite our consistent behavior of making poor choices, you still love us. Please help us to make better choices. Choices not based on what's best for us as individuals or for specific groups, but what is best for all of your children. Help open our eyes and ears to all of the injustices that we have created. We come to you now, repentant and asking for your forgiveness. In the name of your son Jesus, we pray. Amen.