Choose life! It seems like a ridiculous and unnecessary statement, however there are applications that many do not see or understand. In Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Moses makes this offer to the children of Israel. He had personally seen the results of the decisions of his fellow man in failing to trust God. Many of those he had led out of bondage in Egypt died in the wilderness and did not receive the gift of the Promised Land. In essence their choices led to death and adversity, rather than life and prosperity (vs. 15).
Today if you exhort someone to choose life, they look at the life around them and say to themselves that they are. They are seeking the wonderful and pleasant things this life offers and they truly believe that they are choosing life. Could it be that is what Jesus spoke of when He said that He came to bring life and life more abundantly? No, not exactly. Jesus’ focus was never on the temporary and that is what our possessions and pleasure-seeking activities are, temporary.
Choosing life and prosperity, in the words of Moses, means something greater than seeking to add to our wealth. Since we cannot take anything out of this world (1 Tim 6:7) we need to plan for a life and prosperity that isn’t part of this world. Jesus tells us to lay up treasure in heaven in Matthew 6:19-20 and in doing so I believe He is repeating what Moses encouraged the children of Israel to do. Choosing life meant turning from their previous lack of trust in God. Choosing life meant allowing that trust in God to direct their actions toward obeying His commands and instructions. Remember, merely following the commands of God without having your heart in it is fruitless, because God first and foremost wants your love with all your heart, soul and strength. Put your heart into following God, because in doing so you are choosing life. There is no more abundant life than to live a life with our Heavenly Father in the paradise of Heaven after this temporary life on earth is over. Remember what the Hebrew writer spoke of concerning Moses. “By faith Moses, … choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.” Moses chose life, won’t you?
Copyright © 2003, Nolan P. Rutter