Choose Life that You May Live
“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. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 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, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
Life is a gift from God. It is always a gift from God. There is never a time when life is not a gift from God. It is God who made us, God who gives us life, and God who promises to sustain that life that He has granted to us no matter what.
When Adam and Eve were created they were not spoken into being as was the rest of Creation. God fashioned Adam out of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being. Because man was alone, God made a helper for him from his rib, who came out of the womb of man, and God called her woman, and gave her to the man. Together, as male and female, they bore and reflected the image of God Himself. They were holy. They were eternal. They had face to face communication with the Lord who had made them. They were God’s stewards in the garden, having dominion over all of the creation.
There was no distinction between “earthly life” and “eternal life.” It was one and the same.
But something happened to this eternal life and fellowship with God that Adam and Eve possessed. God expressly commanded them not to eat of the fruit of the tree in the garden. But along comes Satan, inhabiting a serpent, tricking Eve up by asking a simple question… “Did God really say you should not eat of that tree?” That’s all it took to get the wheels spinning in her brain to the point where she convinced herself that God was holding back on her, and she makes a choice to disobey God. Adam, likewise, is pulled into this situation by Satan and Eve, and he, too, eats of the literally forbidden fruit. In doing so, Adam and Eve chose death. It wasn’t Satan’s fault; it was theirs.
That eternal life that they had? It ended. The believed Satan’s Lie: “You will be like God, you shall not die”, but the truth was “You shall not be like God, you shall die.” Ironically, they already were like God and by their decision eternally gave up the image of God. Eternal consequences from choosing death. And they didn’t just choose death for themselves, but for all mankind. They chose death in your place before you had a say in it.
Ah, but there was still eternal life. God cannot “uncreate” what He has already made. To do so would contradict Who He is and the creation He made. Now for humans, so it seems, there would be two lives— earthly and eternal that would be eternally divorced from each other. Their once-eternally, never ending life would now end in death. Returning to the dust from which they came. And eternal life? That would be spent with the devil and his angels eternally in hell, forever separated from God in heaven.
For reasons only known to the Father, driven by His love for His now fallen Creation, God sends His only begotten Son into the world to reunite eternal life with our physical life by rejoining us to Himself through the Sacrifice and forgiveness of sins given to us by Jesus, received through faith in Christ alone. Without Christ, those who do not believe in this only way to the Father, eternal life and physical life remain forever separated with the conclusion being damnation on the Last Day. Let’s take a look at our text.
The word “Deuteronomy” means “The second giving of the Law.” You can find the Ten Commandments listed here as well as Exodus. But the audiences are different. In Exodus 20, God gives the Law to Israel as they begin their 40 years in the wilderness. In Deuteronomy, Moses is presenting the law to the next generation— those who would enter into the Promised Land. Those not born when the Law was given the first time.
Moses is speaking to children of the covenant. He is not speaking to unbelievers here. He is not somehow saying that one can “choose” God and in “Choosing Him” be saved. You can’t choose God; He’s the one that does the Choosing and He has chosen you. Your confession of faith only comes because the Holy Spirit has birthed you into the faith and put that confession on your lips. So these are the ones who would see the Promised Land. Most of the others had died out. And Moses, himself would not be permitted to enter. This is important to remember when God, through Moses commands these Children of Israel to “choose life.”
Today, the Lord comes to you— the very ones He has chosen, the very ones to whom He has granted grace and brought us alive in faith. And now— as His redeemed children, He sets this choice before each one of us:
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
Application to Our Lives
Application to Our Lives
What is God saying to us? There are a few things that we must acknowledge.
To choose life means that we must understand that our lives— both physical and eternal, are gifts from God. Through Christ eternal life and physical life are re-bound together. That means even though I am a physical being, I have also begun my eternal life in Christ now. Because of this, I am called to defend all life from womb to tomb. There is no other option for God’s people. The only other option is to choose death, which is not a choice that God’s people ever make.
How do we choose life? What does this mean?
Our text tells us:
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.
loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
Keeping the commandments is the first way that we “choose life.” John reminds us in his first Epistle, “this is love for God, that we obey His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)
As we have been chosen by God, and He has saved us through His grace and by giving us faith in Jesus to receive Him, He now frees us to live in His will. His commandments reveal to us His will.
In choosing life He must be first in your life over all things. Nothing should come between you and Him.
In choosing life, His name is Holy and He calls you to use it in a holy way only. Use it for prayer. Use it for thanksgiving. Use it for praise. Watch your mouth, for it is a window to your heart when it comes to God’s name.
In choosing life, He calls you to be in Church every week where He comes to you in a special way that you cannot find anywhere else. He calls you to be reverent. He calls you to holy living.
In choosing life, He calls you to respect all authority over you regardless of whether or not you agree with who has the authority, or who the person is. The main authority figures are father and mother, and the main building block in society is still the family. No disrespect for authority should ever roll off the lips of one of His own, for it is God who has given all authority. The only cause for disobedience is if the authority or government commands you to do something that goes against the Lord.
In choosing life He forbids you to murder, to hate, to despise, to be angry, which all lead to murder. He calls you to be wise to how the world sees life in a devalued way, and he forbids you to support the ways of the world when it comes to life. It is His creation.
In choosing life God calls you to a life of sexual purity. To commit to each other in marriage in an unconditional way. To keep the marital bed pure. To respect and hold to the Biblical teachings about man and woman understanding that this is how God created life. They were created to be complimentary to each other and to procreate. Any deviation from this is choosing death.
In choosing life God calls you to respect the property of others and not take it.
In choosing life God calls you to respect your neighbor’s good name. We do not lie about our neighbors. We do not gossip about our neighbors. We do not talk about our neighbors behind their backs. In court we always tell the truth. Choosing life means putting the best construction on everything, even if it seems “off” to us.
And in choosing life we are content with what the Lord has given us. We recognize that we are all gifted differently, but all that we have and all that we are belongs to the Lord and not ourselves.
All this through Christ.
All this through Christ.
Keeping the Lord’s Commandments is something that we cannot do on our own. The Holy Spirit changes us into new creations. It is by His power we live. It is in the life and love of Christ that we live. And when we break these commandments, choosing death ourselves, the Lord comes along and covers us with His blood and strengthens us. For in keeping God’s commandments we live. But they don’t give us life; they are fruits of the life already given.
You are the Lord, you freed us to live,
Your law from above and the will that you give.
You are the Lord, the Holy One,
All that is demanded, fulfilled by Your Son.
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.