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