Making choices is something we do on a daily basis, and a lot of those choices are made by rote and habit and we don’t think a lot about them or try to analyse them. Minor things like which sock to put on our feet first or which side of the bread to butter first are not crucial choices, so we don’t normally spend a lot of time pondering them.
There are of course other choices that are more critical and therefore we should take more time with those before proceeding. Generally, the more you are affected personally or how it impacts your family determines how much time you will analyse the potential outcome of a decision.
You would not flippantly go out and buy a car without talking to your spouse about it as to what kind of car, is it the right time, can you afford it–these are all aspects one has to consider prior to making this kind of decision.
God was quite clear on the choices Israel should make, and He tells them about it in the book of Deuteronomy:
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).
Notice, God calls heaven and earth as witnesses in the choices He wants his people to make and also gives a strong admonition to choose life rather than death.
We in the church have been essentially given the same choices, but our choices have to do with our being called to salvation now! The big difference is that if we make the wrong choice and choose a way of life leading to death, once having been called and baptized, then we would suffer the second death.
Israel was challenged to choose to obey God. However, most of them did not listen to God, and they will not attain the first resurrection, but they will be resurrected physically in the future and given an opportunity for salvation (compare Romans 11:26).
We, on the other hand, can choose life through obedience once we receive God’s Spirit, which He only gives to those who obey: “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:32).
The inverse of this would also be true. That is, God does not give His spirit to those who disobey.
For us the choice to obey God is a rather crucial and important one coupled with the great reward of eternal life if we remain faithful and make those right choices in our lives.
God lamented about the nation of Israel when He asked the question:
“Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’” (Ezekiel 33:11).
Anguish is shown here over the bad choices Israel was making–which unfortunately would lead to death.
We, at this juncture of history, are faced with the ultimate choices . We can choose to live through obedience and eventually inherit eternal life, or we can choose to die through disobedience and receive eternal death , the second death from which there is no resurrection!
Life is full of choices, let’s ensure we are making the correct ones and choosing life.