rev-dr-walter-t-richardson_web.jpgI have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live. —Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV

It would appear on the surface that, because of the economy, lawlessness and political confusion, not many people are being blessed. But it is upon closer reflection of God’s Word that we can choose to be blessed in spite of external circumstances.

The Rev. John G. Butler, longtime pastor and Bible commentator, is known for his affirmation, alliteration and application of biblical texts and truths. He helps us understand this “blessing” situation with his commentary on Deuteronomy.

Butler says God’s leader Moses reviews three major areas of the Jews’ lives. First, he reviews the care that Jehovah has given them. It’s the kind of care God has given Israel from the exodus through the wilderness (in which their shoes and clothes did not wear out in 40 years) to the recent conquering of Sihon and Og and the parceling out of their land to several of the tribes. God took care of them in very difficult times.

Second, Moses reviews the consequences of obedience and the consequences of disobedience by the Israelites. And, then, the consequences of repentance are also reviewed by Moses.

Third, Moses reviews Israel’s choices: "I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil."  Israel had two choices; they could obey or disobey. They could be good or evil with the resulting effect of living or dying.  We have these same choices today.

Now, it must be noted that there are several impediments to receiving God’s choicest blessings:

• Pride, thinking too highly of one-self

• Partiality, thinking too much of others• Prejudice, thinking too little of some

• Pacifism, avoiding needful compassionate conflict

• Passivism, indifference to the need for change

It’s really not that complicated. Just decide to become separated from evil know-it-alls and segregated from corrupt party-goers, gamblers, liars and players. Decide to get saturated in His word, stimulated by His wisdom and satisfied with His ways, renewing your vows, rejoicing in victory and renouncing all evil influences.

Then you will be situated in a place, a spiritual space, where the Lord can constantly feed you with more, protect you from more and provide you with the assurance that you are not better than anyone else but better than you would have been had you not been sanctified for him.

So, say this prayer:  “Lord, I choose life and not death. I choose a relationship with you and not just religion. I choose your revelation to me and do not trust just my reason. When I err, I choose repentance and not resistance. I am fully yours and I know you want to bless me. Amen.”