God-Oriented Choices

Several days ago I posted about Identity, opining that “Who we are is the sum of our choices.” This evening I’ve been pondering how brilliant it was of God to give us a list of “approved” choices.

Think about it; knowing that our identity is largely comprised of the accumulation of the choices we make, God gave us a list of “pre-approved” choices that would all contribute to a sense of personal dignity. Perhaps this is some part of what He meant in Deuteronomy 30.

“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. (Deuteronomy 30:15-16 ESV)

Whenever I read God talking about “life” or “live” I always think of Jesus’ words:

… I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10 ESV)

And I recall that God’s comment regarding living in His way was that it’s not an impossible task, but that it is within our reach to choose wisely today.

“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off….But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. (Deuteronomy 30:11, 14 ESV)

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34 ESV)

2 thoughts on “God-Oriented Choices

  1. Nate,

    It’s interesting in considering life as a sum of choices that Deuteronomy 30 (regarding G-d’s approved choices) admonishes only one choice; to choose “life”.

    “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,” (Deuteronomy 30:19 ESV)

    HaShem doesn’t give us the option to choose death, and doesn’t exhort us “not” to choose death because death is not necessarily a choice. Death is the natural outcome of not choosing life, of spiritual stagnation. To merely “stay put” is to choose death.

    I’ve heard this concept likened to the words of a Bob Dylan song;

    “He not a-busy bein’ born is-a busy dyin.”



  2. Paula, I suppose what strikes me about that single “choose life” is that it represents the multitude of choices given throughout Scripture and particularly in Torah. God speaks here about a singular commandment, though this clearly refers to the litany of commandments, for example.

    Bob Dylan seems to have been a sage at times, eh?

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