I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them. Deuteronomy 30:19-20
I had lunch with a new high school graduate. He told me his immediate plans for the future: get a tattoo, stretch his earlobes, and get a job. There are long-term plans as well. No plans for Jesus. I told him that his plans for his body will limit the type of job he will be able to get. He acknowledged that.
He chose the hard life.
The Israelites listened to the blessings of following God and the curses of disobedience. Blessings brought life and prosperity. Curses brought death and adversity.
3 steps to the good life
- Loving the LORD. “Hear O Israel! The Lord our God is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5
- Obeying His voice. “Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.’” 1 Samuel 15:22
- Holding fast to Him. “For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,” Hebrews 3:14
Dwelling in the promised land. For the Israelites, the promised land flowed with milk and honey. God had given it to them; they just needed to possess it. For Christians, the promised land is eternal life through following Jesus.
The Israelites took the three steps for awhile and enjoyed the blessing. They turned away and returned many times; each time, experiencing curses or blessings. Ultimately, a remnant will return to the Lord, loving Him, obeying Him, and holding fast to Him. They chose a hard life, but they will enter the good life at the end of this world.
I’m trusting that in this young man’s wanderings, he will find the path to eternal life by becoming a follower of Jesus and learn how to take the three steps that lead to the good life.
Prayer is powerful.
My prayer for you
Father, You have set before us life and death, blessings and curses. Help us to understand how deeply You love us. Your lovingkindness leads us to repentence. Obedience follows. Increase our ability to hold fast to You. Increase our desire for You and Your fellowship. Thank You, Lord. In the nature and name of Jesus, we pray. Amen
What path have you chosen?