30:15 See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity.
30:16 If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the LORD your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess.
30:17 But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them,
30:18 I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live,
30:20 loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the LORD swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
In this passage the nation of Israel is faced with a choice that will radically change their lives. The choice they are given is: to love and obey God means life and prosperity, to reject God results in death and adversity. Is that simple, black and white, no area in between. You either uphold the command to love the Lord your God with all your heart or you reject Him completely.
If the Israelites chose to love God and obey His word, they would experience and enjoy all God’s blessings. Verse 16 tells us the blessings they would experience “then you shall live and become numerous, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess.” On the other hand, if they refused to love and obey Him, their punishment would be severe and immediate.
This is the heart of the Gospel and the message of Salvation. We are all faced with the choice of accepting that we are all sinners, in need of a Savior and have to make the choice to answer the call of giving up our sinful life and respond in loving obedience to Him or continuing in our sin and rejecting Him. Jesus Christ came to die for our sins and paid the penalty for our mistakes because He loves us. He died a painful and violent death so that we would not have to. When He rose again after three days, that was and still is our chance to repent and turn from sin to a life that obeys and loves Him and His word. We are faced with the choice of accepting it or rejecting it. Just like the nation of Israel, we have to make a black or white choice that will radically change our lives.
Choosing to follow after Christ was the best decision I have ever made. I am now set free from the bondage of sin and am no longer defined by my past. Whenever I am faced with the temptation to sin, I now have the Holy Spirit living inside me guiding and giving me strength to turn and run from sin and into the arms of the one who saves and loves me. As a result of my acceptance of the work of the cross, my security is found in Him alone. I know that I will one day be spending eternity with Him in heaven and until then, I strive each day to live a life that is a reflection of Him and what He has done for me. I experience His working power in my life each day. He gives me joy when I am happy and gives me strength to find joy in times of sadness. You too can have that same hope by accepting the message of salvation, turning from sin, and following after Him.
No turning back
No turning backThe cross before me
The world behind me
No turning back
No turning back
…loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days. (Deuteronomy 30:20)
Obedience is not a matter of solving an equation or determining the correct chemistry. We just simple listen to the voice of the Lord and He will direct our steps. Seek first the Kingdom.
[Featured image from revkevnye.com]