Deuteronomy 30:11-20 - Life or Death? - Pastor Eric
We are coming to the end of Deuteronomy, and Moses is coming to the end of his life. He is more pointed in his application of the Law and his exhortation to Israel to be decisive about choosing God. We are challenged to ask the question, why choose God? Why follow God? Why is the choice of following God a matter of life and death?
The first truth: Choosing God is not a complicated decision but a reasonable one. God hasn’t made it hard nor complex to understand or to know Him. (vv.11-14)
Moses says, “Neither it is far off…not in the heavens or beyond the seas.” This means you don’t have to go to great lengths to find God and His commandments. This gives a wonderful picture of simplicity of knowing God. God is not asking us to go to Heaven or to go on some religious pilgrimage to find Him.
The most amazing thing is Jesus Christ, God’s own Son, came down from Heaven’s glories to us. He was born in a manger wrapped in human flesh, sacrificed on a cross, and raised from the dead in order that your mouth and your heart might believe. (Romans 10:6-10) You might confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. You might see and know GOD!!!
As Moses pointed out, you don’t have to jump through hoops to get to God, and God has shown Himself to true, so that choosing Him is never a blind faith but a valid one.
The second truth: Choosing God is a life-giving decision both now and forever. Our decision to follow God is life-changing both now and for eternity. When you choose to follow and to obey Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will receive both blessing and joy. (vv.15-16, 19-20)
Moses sets the table to choose between life and good, death and evil. It is a matter of life and death. Moses explains observance to the commandments and the Law will bring a person life. Obedience is life-giving not life-restricting. We gain a life-giving love of God, a life-giving truth of God, and the life-giving commandments of God in a personal relationship with Him.
Moses expands on this life-giving decision through the blessing of the covenant. (vv.16, 20) Moses brings Israel back to God’s faithful covenant to bless His people through land, seed, and blessing.
As New Testament believers, we must discern what life-giving blessings do we still receive today? How does God bless His people today?
Today, we are not guaranteed an earthly promised land, but we are guaranteed an eternal and heavenly one. This is the life-giving hope of the gospel. We are not guaranteed the promise of offspring, but we are guaranteed a new identity as children of God. This is a life-giving understanding that we are His beloved. We are not guaranteed earthly riches or prosperity, but we are guaranteed the most precious thing in the world, God Himself.
Therefore, we can confidently say, “We are richly spoiled by God beyond our wildest imaginations, because we don’t deserve any of what God gives to us yet through the enormous blessing of the cross and the power of His resurrection, we are graced with love again and again.”
This is the life-giving gospel of Christ, which ought to give us hope, strength, and joy in life to make Jesus Christ the best decision we’ll ever make.
The last truth: Not choosing God is a deadly decision. The results of sin are an eternity separated from God both now and forever. (vv.17-19) In verse 17, Moses gives a clear picture of a fallen person. Pay careful attention to Moses’ description here…Your heart that turns away - a heart that doesn’t belief in God and that walks away from God. You will not hear - a mind that doesn’t listen to God or for God. And if both mind and heart will not follow God, then one will easily be drawn away to other gods, not only to believe, but to serve other gods.
Moses doesn’t mince words as people shall surely perish. Moses is alluding to the consequence of Israel losing the promised land. If they don’t live properly in the land, then they will most certainly lose it.
Going beyond Deuteronomy, we can see that if we choose not to follow God, then there is an eternity, where we will be separated from God for an eternity in Hell. (Romans 6:23). It is a death that will not end even though we will want it to. It will be an eternal destiny without hope, without peace, without joy, and without love.
This is the bad and terrible news of the gospel, but there is the good news too. Jesus Christ choose to live a perfect life and He choose to die as an innocent man in order to stand in your place. He chose death upon a cross for the sins of the world. Yet, death did not conquer Him for He arose from the grave to defeat sin and to give us new life both now and forevermore. So, Jesus Christ is our only hope and our only answer, thus our only choice.
It is a decision for only you to make. The choice is a matter of life AND death, a life-giving or life-ending one.
The choice is simple and reasonable to confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Choose to commit yourself to the One who has already chosen to love you. Choosing God is a matter of life and death.
Songs of Praise: This is Amazing Grace; God You’re So Good; I Give You My Heart; Take My Life and Let it Be; Doxology.