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D'varim/Deuteronomy 11:26 See, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse
With these words, Moshe draws our attention to the fact that there is a choice involved in our relationship with G-d. Many may not be aware of this, but we do not become robots on auto-pilot, steering effortlessly through the sea of life, just because we are in covenant with G-d. Every day we make choices that have consequences - for blessing or for curse - and we have to live with those consequences, for good or bad, sometimes for the rest of our lives. G-d graciously walks through our bad choices with us, often providing the means for release from difficult circumstances, sometimes not, but always redeeming our lives by His presence.
Moshe wants to make sure that we, and the people who originally heard him speak these words on the Plains of Moav, take notice of what he is saying. Instead of the word , an exclamation variously translated "Look!", "Behold!" or "See!", Moshe uses the imperative form of the verb , to see, look at or observe - even choose, experience or understand. It is like the difference between shown round an ornamental garden on a tour for a couple of hours and spending a week working with the gardener. "Look at this carefully," Moshe is saying, "this is important!"
A generation later we find Y'hoshua, Moshe's successor, urging the people to exercise that choice: "Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve Adonai" (Y'hoshua 24:15, NASB). Already our people had started to turn away from the L-rd and make bad choices.
Yeshua offers the same choice to us again. "Go through the narrow gate; for the gate that leads to destruction is wide and the road broad, and many travel it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life and only a few find it" (Matthew 7:13-14, CJB). First of all we have to see that there is a choice - there are two ways to live our lives: G-d's way and our way. Many choose to live by their own standards, to following their own principles, to row their own boat, typified by the famous song sung by Frank Sinatra, "I did it my way." But G-d is not interested in how well or badly we have fared on our own, although He is grieved when we choose not to walk with Him. He wants to draw our attention to that fact that there is a choice available to us: we can choose to walk with Him and know His blessing and provision, both for this life and the next. "He is patient with you; for it is not His purpose that anyone should be destroyed, but that everyone should turn from his sins" (2 Peter 3:9, CJB).
Further Study: D'varim 30:15-20; Ruth 1:15-18
Application: Do you find yourself at a place of choice? Perhaps you didn't know that you had a choice available. Now is the time to open your eyes and see - and choose the way of G-d's blessing in your life.
© Jonathan Allen, 2004
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