Life is full of choices. Some choices carry minor consequences and others are a matter of life and death. In Deuteronomy 30:15 Moses tells the people that God is giving them a choice between prosperity and disaster, between life and death.
This was Moses’ last sermon and he wanted the people to know, without a doubt, what God expected of them. God has made rewards for obeying His rules and penalties for disobeying. Much like going to a rodeo, if you miss your horse out—you loose; if you miss your calf or steer—you loose. We loose in the arena because we didn’t obey the rules in the PRCA rulebook.
The Daily Walk Bible says this about the words in Deuteronomy 28 through 30, “People are free to choose the path they will take, but they are not free to escape the consequences of their fateful choice.” In God’s plan He has given every person a free will; freedom to choose how he will live. Free will gives us choices every day.
Some of us make a big deal about what to wear and others have limited their wardrobe to Wranglers and plaid shirts. To many women, the choice of clothing is important. Choosing the wrong thing to wear bears consequences of embarrassment. For cowboys the choice of how to ride their horse is a choice that carries consequences. The wrong choice can embarrass you but also hurt your pocketbook.
While Moses was leading his people to the promised land, he warned them not to forget God. They didn’t do what they were told. Perhaps the blessings of God became more important than God. Or perhaps, the blessings of God became their idol. And then perhaps they thought their happiness came from their blessings instead of the Blessor. We are not sure why they forgot God, but those reasons often apply to us. God has been so good to us and we have so many ‘things’, that the ‘things’ often become our focus. We may rationalize why we do this, but the bottom line for all of us, “Have the ‘things’ become our idol? Are any of our ‘things’ more important than God?”
CHOOSE TO LOVE THE LORD
TO OBEY HIM
COMMIT YOURSELF TO HIM,
FOR HE IS YOUR LIFE.
God commands that He be our life; and when He isn’t, there will be consequences. Read some of the verses found in Moses’ sermon.
- "You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today to follow after other gods and worship them. But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and laws I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you." (Following this warning the many, many curses are listed.)
- Could our ‘things’ have become our gods and are we worshiping ‘the things’ more than God.
- Listen to the warning given in Deuteronomy 28:47, “Because you have not served the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything.” Beloved, cowboys and cowgirls, God wants to bless not curse, the choice is ours.
- Consider this verse found in Deuteronomy 29:19, “Let none of those who hear the warnings of this curse consider themselves immune, thinking, “I am safe, even though, I am walking in my own stubborn way. This would lead to utter ruin!" The rules apply to all of us in all situations.
- Or this verse found in Deuteronomy 30:17, “But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed.” It must be a daily choice for God to be our life, not to worship our ‘things’! For cowboys, our gods can become our horse, rig, or gold buckles.
- "The Lord your God is making this covenant with you who stand in his presence today and also with all future generations of Israel." Deuteronomy 29:15 Moses’ sermon applies to us, too.
- "This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand or perform…. The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it." (Deuteronomy 30:11,14) We can do what God asks! God is on our side and wants us to win in life!
- "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live!" (Deuteronomy 30:19) God wants to continue to bless us! May the love and commitment to Jesus Christ be our focus, so that we and our children might live!
GOD WANTS US TO CHOOSE HIM—SO WE MIGHT LIVE!
For this commandment which I command you this day, is not too difficult for you, nor is it far off.
It is not a secret laid up in Heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to Heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear and do it?
Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear and do it?
But the word is very near you, in your mouth, and in your mind and in your heart, so that you can do it.
See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil.
If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which
I command you today, to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways,
and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances,
then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.
But if your mind and heart turn away, and you will not hear,
but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them,
I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish,
and you shall not live long in the land which you pass over the Jordan to enter and possess.
I call Heaven and earth to witness this day against you,
that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse;
therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live;
To love the Lord your God, to obey His voice, and to cling to Him;
for He is your life; and the length of your days,
that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Deuteronomy 28 - 30