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 — Deuteronomy 30:19
After being delivered from slavery in Egypt and surviving the perils of the wilderness, the Israelites stood at the threshold of the much longed for Promised Land. But before they were to go in and possess that land, God had a message for His people (Deuteronomy 30:15–20):
“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… .”
Make A Decision
Just like the Israelites, we are faced with decisions every single day. Life and prosperity? Or death and destruction? The time has come to make a decision. There are at least two different words in the Bible for time. One is chronos, which is the ticking of the clock. It is the time that we measure, the duration of time. The other word for time is kairos. Kairos is an appointed time. Kairos is derived from “kara,” meaning head. Kairos is when things come to a head and a decision is required. It is an opportune time for something. It’s when heaven intersects earth.
Right this moment — even as you are reading this devotion!
Now … as that person just cut you off on the highway. Choose life!
Now … as you realize your best friend has betrayed your trust and has been spreading gossip about you that isn’t true. Choose life!
Now … when that girl at work is paying more and more attention to you unlike your wife who is always fully engrossed with the kids. Choose life!
Life Is Built On Decisions
Life is built on decisions we make every single day. Our decisions determine our destinies. What will we choose? Even though it doesn’t always feel like it, we do, in fact, have choices. It is amazing to me that even after God says in Deuteronomy 30 “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…”, the Israelites STILL had to be encouraged to choose life (vs. 19). He lays it all out as plain as day for them, but they still had to be encouraged to choose life. It is in our nature, just like a sheep, to wander from what’s best.
The fact that He has to tell them to choose life tells me that they had a propensity, an inclination, to actually choose death sometimes. We do, too! Oh, we wouldn’t say we choose death. No, we would find a way to blame someone or something else for our actions. But the truth of the matter is, just like the Israelites, we have choices. Choose life!
I know we are not living under the law anymore, and we’ve been set free from the law of sin and death. But I believe we still bear responsibility for and the consequences of our actions. They aren’t always punitive because Christ bore the punishment for our sin on the cross. But we still have cause and effect. The New Testament bears this out in Matthew 6:15. If I choose to hold un-forgiveness in my heart toward someone, God says He will not forgive me. There are many divine moments in our lives where God sets before us a decision: Life and prosperity? Or death and destruction?
You Have Choices, Choose Life
Whatever you are facing today, know you are not a victim. You have choices. You may not be able to choose what someone else has done to you, but you can choose how you respond to what has been done. His Spirit is willing and able to help you even in the most chaotic and heavy circumstances. He is cheering you on: Choose life!
This devotion originally appeared on Devotable written by Julie Holmquist
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