#DailyDevotion Choose Life & Not Death
Deut. 3015 “You see, today I put before you life and happiness, death and misery 16as I order you today to love the LORD your God, follow in His ways, and do what He says in His commandments, laws, and regulations. Then you will live and grow in number, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you’re about to enter and take over. 17But if your hearts turn away and you won’t listen but are misled to worship other gods and serve them, 18I tell you today you’ll certainly perish and not live long in the land you’re crossing the Jordan to take over.
The LORD had put before the Israelites life and happiness, death and misery. Which would you choose? It’s very much like in the Garden when he placed before Adam the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Before you answer when you choose life and happiness see what that entails, “I order you today to love the LORD your God, follow in His ways, and do what He says in His commandments, laws, and regulations.” Now go and read all the laws, regulations and commandments in Exodus-Deuteronomy and don’t break one of them. Yeah, not so easy. But remember there is the sacrificial part of the system to make atonement for your transgressions against the Law, so the LORD is not expecting his people to never transgress the Law.
The LORD gives them a choice, life and happiness, death and misery. If they choose life and happiness they would grow in number, be blessed by God i.e. the crops and other aspects of well being would be multiplied among them. Well that sounds pretty good. However, if they turn their hearts away from the LORD (note that the LORD is not only looking at what the Israelites did but why they did it) and followed, trusted, worshipped other gods in the place of or in addition to the LORD, well they would perish. We read the Scriptures and we know what happened. The majority of them choose death and misery because they would not and could not love the LORD with all their heart, mind and strength. They ran after other gods.
Jesus says, John 319“This is why people are condemned: The Light came into the world, but people have loved darkness instead of the Light because they have been doing wrong.” This applies to the Jews as well as the Gentiles. You see since the fall of man we not will not do what God wants us to do. We cannot do it. We are bad trees. We are not of the Spirit. If we are to choose life and happiness we must be made wholly new people. The Spirit must give birth to us from above by the water and the word. John 812“Jesús spoke to them again. ‘I am the Light of the world. Follow Me, and you will never wander in the dark but will have the Light of Life.’” Here we have the invitation to follow Jesus. This invitation is the Gospel. Despite our many sins and transgression and serving other gods, Jesus, the LORD, extends his hand to us to follow him. His invitation to follow him gives us the Spirit to do so and we possess the Light of Life. Our lives can be filled with life and a joy that is beyond all comprehension in Christ Jesus. In this life, everything will not always go right but we have the promise of the resurrection to eternal life in God’s kingdom, here on earth, the renewed earth. There we will experience the blessings the LORD had promise Israel. We will have entered the Promised Land.
Almighty God and Father, grant us your Holy Spirit that we may follow Jesus and have life and happiness, now and in the world to come. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.