Deuteronomy 29:1 – 30:20; Luke 11:37-12:7; Psalm 78:1-31; Proverbs 12:19-20
Sarah wrote yesterday that obedience brings blessing. I wholeheartedly agree with that, both as it’s demonstrated in Scripture and with what I’ve seen and experienced in my own life. In our OT passage today, we also see another fruit of obedience – life. God tell the Israelites, “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” (Dt. 30:19-20). Isn’t that so beautiful and so profound? Chose life, God tells us. Yes, we’ll always have choices in this covenant we’re in with God; temptation will always be there to prompt us toward sin, death, cursing – but God says that the choice is also there for blessing, for obedience, for life. Let’s choose life, my friends!
On a related note, I also love this little gem of a verse earlier in our reading – “For the LORD will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers” (Dt. 30:9). I was recently talking with a sweet friend about her hopes of adopting the foster child currently in their home. She was saying she used to feel guilty about wanting to keep the baby, but in recent weeks, she’d begun to feel a new freedom in asking God for that baby to stay with them permanently. She had always known that God wants to give us the desires of our hearts but had never quite felt bold enough to apply that truth to her particular situation. Isn’t that true of so many of us? We’re a little hesitant to take God’s promises to the bank, so to speak. But it’s all over his word, and again here today – he takes great joy in giving good gifts; he delights in prospering us. Isn’t that incredible!
Our reading in Luke is full of challenging statements - warnings to be nothing like the religious elite of Jesus’ day, who were so full of their own importance and rules of their own making that they couldn’t see the Savior right in front of them. But it ends with something that ties into our Old Testament passage, and that’s our worth to God. If God is keeping careful track of a tiny sparrow sold for almost nothing, how much more does he care about us, his very children? As his treasured sons and daughters, he has numbered the very hairs on our heads. It makes sense, then, doesn’t it, that he would take such joy in giving good gifts to these children he loves? I know how I feel, watching my children on their birthdays or Christmas – I can only imagine how God feels, when we walk in obedience, enabling him to “take delight in prospering us.”
- Esther McCurry
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