Choice and Its Consequences

KEY VERSE: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life.” —Deuteronomy 30:19

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 30:11-20

THE Law Covenant and its terms were delivered to the nation of Israel under circumstances that would preclude the possibility of anyone being ignorant of the requirements. (Exod. 24:7; Deut. 31:9-13) Thus Moses could say to them: “For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the Word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.”—Deut. 30:11-14

In addition, as the mouthpiece of God, Moses reiterated in considerable detail the blessings that would redound to them if they were obedient. In Deuteronomy 28:2-14 we read in part: “And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.” God promised that he would enable them to overcome their enemies and that all the people of earth would respect them and fear them.

On the other hand, if they were disobedient, God promised to bring curses upon them. In Deuteronomy 28:15-42 we read in part: “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God … that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee. Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shalt be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.”

In Deuteronomy 30:15, Moses summarizes with this statement, “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.” The choice the nation made is well documented in the Scriptures. They enjoyed comparatively short periods when they were obedient and received blessings, but for the most part they were disobedient and suffered the curses the Lord promised would come to them.

There is a lesson in this for the footstep followers of Jesus, the true Israelites indeed. The Apostle Paul had much the same problem as Moses. Many of the Hebrew brethren of his day who had accepted Christ afterward became lax and indifferent. In Hebrews 5:6 he brought to their attention the wonderful type of Melchisedec, who pictured a higher order of priesthood than the Aaronic. It was this higher order to which Jesus was raised and it is the hope of his footstep followers, if faithful, to be with him as associate priests of this same high order. But in order to attain this goal, it is necessary to be obedient to the laws of the New Creation. The apostle states that he could not speak to them about these things because they were dull of hearing, and needed to be taught again the very first principles of the oracles of God. The point is, that because of their laxness, they were, in effect, being disobedient to their covenant of sacrifice.—Heb. 5:10-13

The apostle then explains that their development should have been such that they could assimilate deeper spiritual truths. “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:14) By failing to be obedient to their covenant of sacrifice and failing to put into practice the precepts that they should have known, they were unskillful in making the proper judgments and decisions in their Christian life which would have promoted growth in knowledge, in appreciation, and in character.

The apostle suggests a remedy that is noteworthy for all of us. “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection [maturity], not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.”—Heb. 6:1-3

Dawn Bible Students Association
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