Choose Wisely!

Deuteronomy 30

11“This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand or perform. 12It is not up in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go to heaven and bring it down so we can hear and obey it?’ 13It is not beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear and obey it?’ 14The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.

15“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between prosperity and disaster, between life and death. 16I have commanded you today to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, laws, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and become a great nation, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. 17But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, 18then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.

19“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! 20Choose to love the LORD your God and to obey him and commit yourself to him, for he is your life. Then you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-20, NLT)

The Daily DAVEotional

There are dozens of burger chains among an endless sea of fast food choices in America. The job of marketing is to convince you why you should frequent one establishment over the others.

A successful marketing campaign will have you singing a jingle or repeating a slogan unconsciously.

Back in the 70’s it was McDonald’s “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun” jingle vs. Burger King’s “hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us, all we ask is that you let us serve it your way” chorus.

These two fast food giants were the undisputed big dogs of the fast food world.

Wendy’s burst on the scene in the 1980’s with its famous “Where’s the beef?” commercial and is currently the 3rd largest burger chain.

Today, the McDonald’s slogan is “I’m loving it.”

I can’t even tell you what Burger King’s slogan is as they seem to be going through somewhat of an identity crisis.

Wendy’s current marketing strategy is to position itself as the “better” choice, from hot and crispy fries that are better than McDonalds to burgers made from beef that is fresh, not frozen. The ad campaign encourages patrons to “Choose wisely, choose Wendy’s”.

It all comes down to how you choose.

This is the idea in this section of the book of Deuteronomy. Make your choice and choose wisely.

The book of Deuteronomy is really a message given by Moses to the Israelites just before entering the promised land. The word actually means “Second Law”. Moses had already given the law to the Israelites in Exodus but most of those people had died off because of their disobedience in Numbers 13-14. Hence, this is the “second” giving of the law.

After 40 years of wandering in the desert a new generation was finally about to experience God’s promise to enter the promised land on the other side of the Jordan river. Moses is reminding them of the covenant that God had established with His people, along with His promise that if they would follow Him whole-heartedly and obey His commands, they would not only live, but they would prosper.

Disobedience, on the other hand, would bring about disaster and curses, including certain destruction from their enemies.

The choice for the Israelites was simple: choose life and prosperity over death and destruction.

Choosing life means loving God with your whole heart, keeping His commands and walking in His ways.

Choosing death means turning away from God, refusing to listen to Him and being drawn away to serve and worship other gods (including oneself).

Clearly life is better than death and prosperity is better than destruction.

Though we are now living under the New Covenant, the basic choice is still the same. We can choose life or death. We can choose prosperity or we can choose destruction. We can choose to love God and follow Him or we can choose to follow our own selfish path.

Like the Wendy’s ad campaign says, there is a better option…..choose wisely!


When have you been faced with a tough choice in your life? How did you choose? What factors went into your decision?

What makes choosing God so difficult for people in today’s culture? 

What do you think it means to choose life? What would that look like?

What do you think “destruction” looks like for those who choose not to love God? 

What steps can you take to continue to choose life over death?


Photo by Batu Gezer on Unsplash

“Sticks and Stones…” Revisited

Proverbs 18

4 A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook. (Proverbs 18:4)

14 The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear it if the spirit is crushed? (Proverbs 18:14)

20 Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction. (Proverbs 18:20)

21 Those who love to talk will experience the consequences, for the tongue can kill or nourish life. (Proverbs 18:21)

The Daily DAVEotional

When I was about 5 or 6 years old, my parents invited some friends over to the house. They had kids who were about the same age as me and my brother so while my parents were entertaining their guests, we were hanging out as a group of kids.

I’m the youngest in my family and was always very small for my age. As a result, I was often teased by older kids and even peers for being small.

I vividly remember being teased in this setting. Though I don’t remember the exact nature of the teasing, I do remember going to my mother and telling her that the other kids were making fun of me.

Her response was the classic line, “You tell them that ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.’

I soon learned that this phrase was a stock response to schoolyard bullying and verbal jabs and I used it frequently, until of course, I discovered more sophisticated ways of responding to the insults of others, such as the mocking “Neener, neener” and the classic “I know you are but what am I”.

The problem with the “Sticks and Stones” phrase is that it’s not true.

Of course there’s an element of truth to the saying. Yes, words cannot inflict physical damage on our bodies. But as Proverbs 18 shows, our words can bring life and healing to others OR they can wound or kill others.

The phrase disregards the sensitive nature of our emotions and our spirit.

Think about it. Our bodies have an immune system which fights off infections when we are sick.

Our bodies also have a repair system that kicks in when we are injured. An open wound will heal and even broken or fractured bones will heal themselves, though obviously, compound fractures may require special setting in order for proper healing to take place.

We don’t have an emotional immune system though to repair our minds when we are discouraged or damaged emotionally. We can carry the scars and wounds of emotional trauma for years.

We live in a culture where we can instantly communicate with just about anyone we want, and with social media, our words have an extensive reach that was unthinkable even 20 or 30 years ago.

There is a lot of anger and vitriol these days, especially on Social media platforms. Personally, I need constant reminders of the power of my words so that I don’t give in to the temptation to berate and belittle others, with no regard for the impact it has on them.


Think of a time when you were teased as a kid? How did it make you feel? What emotions and thoughts do you have now as you remember that experience?

When is a time when your words wounded another person? What did you say? Have you asked for forgiveness and reconciled with that person?

When was a time when someone gave you life-giving words that nourished your soul? What was the context and in what ways did those words lift your spirit?

What has been your experience with your words on social media? What steps can you take to ensure that your words on social media are life-giving and not wounding or harming others?


Photo by Simon Wilkes on Unsplash