So, that?s an easy choice, right? If you are given the option of life or death, we would naturally and enthusiastically choose life. We all, even animals, go to great lengths to remain alive. To be or not to be: that is not the question really. What does it mean to choose life or to choose death?
In Deuteronomy religious practices such as obedience to God?s torah (teachings) and loyal worship of God are important. These practices constitute correct worship and a faithful lifestyle. It is becoming clearer and clearer what all life involves.
The six verses of this passage provide a summary of the major theological points of this covenant and helps to understand that obedience brings blessings and life, while disobedience leads to curses and death.
Deuteronomy 30:15-20 speaks to the relationship between covenant, life and the teachings of God. Verse 16 lays out a three commands:
- to love God,
- to walk in God?s ways,
- to keep God?s commandments, statutes, judgments.
- Verse 20 presents a slightly different grouping:
- to love God,
- to hear God?s voice,
- to cling to God.
First, choosing life involves loving God. Deuteronomy presents this love as more than an emotion. This book states, ?You shall love The Living God, your God, with all your heart, and with all your self, and with all your might.?
Second, choosing life involves walking in the ways of God and listening to the voice of God. Here we have general, biblical images of discipleship. Deuteronomy envisions obedience as a response to God?s covenant. It is active — walking and listening.
Third, choosing life involves keeping God?s commands and clinging to God. The Israelites were also expected to act in appropriate ways toward each other and God. The commands were not burdensome or impossible. They are a way to remain faithful, to mark religious identity, and to respond to God?s initiative.
- To love God with our whole selves.
- To follow God?s voice as we walk.
- To cleave to God by keeping commandments.
- This is the way to life, not death.
- So, choose life!
See you on Sunday!?“I don’t know how, but I know WHO!”?