Deuteronomy 30:15-20 (NRSV)
Verse 15See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. Verse 16If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. Verse 17But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, Verse 18I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. Verse 19I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, Verse 20loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
Choices can launch long-lasting consequences. God’s people are offered a choice—essentially to turn toward God or to turn away. But this is not a random “pick a card, any card” invitation. Moses offers a shamelessly stacked deck to the people he has loved and led. Their “choice” boils down to this: simply choose to love the one who first loved you.
As with a person baptized as an infant long before any personal choice is possible, God’s initiative has opened a way for this people through the sea and through the wilderness. God’s prior choices have advantaged this people far beyond any path they could have picked for themselves. This is still God’s word to you today: I love you, I choose you, and I always will. What will you do today with God’s choice of you?
Holy God, in your love and mercy steer me today away from hateful or death-dealing choices, and set before me the life that only you can give. Amen.