Daily Devotion 04 September 2020
Deuteronomy 30: 15-19 ‘Choose Life, Choose God’
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Last November, the Wales National Football Team beat Hungary 2-0 and by doing so, ensured their qualification for Euro 2020. (I won’t need to tell you that Euro 2020 never happened…but don’t worry football-lovers, it’ll be next year instead). The match was particularly memorable for the post-match celebrations. Gareth Bale, the Welsh player was under pressure at his home club, Real Madrid, and had been roundly criticised in the Spanish media. The accusation was that this star player was to be found too often on the golf course, and needed to put Real Madrid higher up his list of priorities. After the game, the Welsh players crowded around this flag, laughing and joking… and maybe Gareth Bale enjoyed a rare moment of being able to answer his critics with some humour thrown in there too!
Moses is one of the giants of the Hebrew Bible, leading the Israelite people, guiding them out of Egypt, bringing to the people the law of God. Deuteronomy contains a number of his sermons, as he preaches and teaches the people how they should live faithfully with God and faithfully with one another. In the above verses, Moses makes clear there is a choice here: the people can follow God’s way – or not, live in love – or not, obey God’s commandments – or not. In our times now we may well feel less comfortable with the suggestion that faith automatically leads to material prosperity, or that death and destruction automatically follow if not. We would probably take a more nuanced view! However, Moses is speaking wisely about priorities and choices that we would do well to listen to and observe. Is love of God on the margins of our life? Do we rely on ourselves too much, and forget God’s Spirit at work within? Do we try and bear suffering or worry without being still in God’s peace? Moses reminds us: God first and God last – in that order!
pray these words through by Fred Kaan, from StF 596 or R&S 463.
“Then grant us courage, Father-God, to choose again the pilgrim way
and help us to accept with joy the challenge of tomorrow’s day.”
Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Paul Tabraham.
All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356