“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” – John C. Maxwell
Right or wrong, blessings or cursing, life or death. These are major themes of God’s dealings with His people. He consistently set right, blessings, and life within grasp of Israel, and more often than naught they chose wrong, cursing, and death.
The Law has been rehearsed in great detail to the new generation up to this point, and they now have a clear understanding of God’s purpose for them. They were raised by people who knew God’s Law, and rejected faith in God. As a result, they died in the wilderness. What could have been blessings was turned into a curse. A people who should have been known for their life, and largely remembered for their death.
A quick reading of Psalm 90 gives Moses testimony of the Wilderness Wonderings. Their life had been cut short, and had been reduced to a byword or a tell that was told. Surrounded by the wilderness and the tell tell markers of God’s power and eternal nature, Israel because very aware of how feeble and short their lives had been cut short. A nation that should have had a testimony for right was known for their wrong.
Upon entering the land of Promise, Israel was supposed to take twelve stones and build an altar at Mount Ebal. The primary purpose of this altar was to point Israel’s attention to the promise and contingent blessings of God. On mount Gerizim, six tribes were to be represented to bless the people of Israel. On mount Ebal, six tribes were to be represented to curse the people of Israel. It is a very surreal environment… a mixed swirl of cursings and blessings.
The intention of this raw scene was to draw a stark contrast between the options of Israel. Would they affix themselves to Ebal or Gerizim, would they choose life or death, God or self, blessings or the curse? It was a sharp choice… to be on one mountain was to reject the other… to choose right is to reject wrong.
It amazes me that twelve curses are uttered first, and not one blessing is mentioned until chapter twenty eight. By default the positive was the opposite of the negative, and the positive opposite the negative. After each curse being pronounced, the people were to respond “AMEN”, meaning, “I agree”. It was a verbal contract with God.
As the generation before them, they had a choice. What would they choose? Would they desire the mountain top experiences of Gerizim? Would they reject the curses and cling to the blessings?
I believe the more telling question today is, “what will you choose”? Much of the Christian life is contingent on our choice. God sets before us the opportunity for blessings, but unfortunately we often choose curses. God grants us the opportunity to be led of the Spirit, unfortunately we often choose to walk in the flesh.
Make a CHOICE today to choose the good things of God. Reject the curse of sinfulness and pursue holiness and God’s presence. Make a decision now, and seal it with and AMEN!
Daily Scripture Reading
Deuteronomy 24 - 27
“Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey.”