Deuteronomy 30:1 – 32:47
There’s a massive tension in these chapters. In chapter 30, Moses sums up the choice before the people: “see, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction… now choose life” (Deut 30:15, 19), and yet in the same breath he hints that the people will choose death: “this day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you…” (Deut 30:19). This hint is expanded in chapters 31&32 as we are left in no doubt about what will happen: “these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them.” (Deut 31:16). In other words God knows what’s going to happen and yet he clearly states that the people must choose. This apparent tension is one that the Bible insists we learn to live with – the sovereignty of God on the one hand (nothing is outside of his knowledge, nothing happens against his will), and human responsibility on the other (we make genuine choices to obey or reject the revealed will of God). And though it might mess with our brains a bit, it really couldn’t be any other way could it?
The really good news is that through Jesus for us and the Holy Spirit in us we now have even greater freedom (or perhaps “capacity” is a better word) to “choose life”. Deut 30:14 is now more true than ever: “the word is very near you, it is in your mouth and in your heart so that you may obey it.” Check out Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 36:25-27 & John 1:14 to get a better understanding of how blessed we are in Christ.
Have a great day!