Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. – Deuteronomy 30:15
15 Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other.
16 What I am commanding you today is to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and become numerous and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you are about to possess.
17 However, if you turn aside and do not obey, but are lured away to worship and serve other gods,
18 I declare to you this very day that you will certainly perish! You will not extend your time in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.
19 Today I invoke heaven and earth as a witness against you that I have set life and death, blessing and curse, before you. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live!
Dirty Harry, released in 1971, was a critical and commercial success. In 2012, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.” It created a whole new genre of police films.
Dirty Harry starred Clint Eastwood as a San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) inspector. Dirty Harry Callahan foils a bank robbery. He shoots two robbers and holds a third at gunpoint. The third robber surrenders because dirty Harry bluffed him with the memorable ultimatum:
I know what you’re thinking: ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’
Well, do you, punk?
Each of us makes choices every day: the color of our socks, slacks, shirts; what we do in our spare time, what we watch or read, the food and beverages we select. Everyone has the right to make their own choice. Some choices are of little consequence. Others are very momentous and life changing. Some have eternal consequences. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But not everyone has a right to their own Truth (Lutzer).
Ultimately, before the Father, choices are black or white, good or evil, wise or foolish.
REFLECT & PRAY
“We almost always have choices, and the better the choice, the more we will be in control of our lives” (William Glasser).
Father in my lifetime I have made so many poor choices. Thank you that you are my counselor. Encourage me to make better choices, right choices, the best possible choices.
In the Ancient Near East, during the time of Moses, when treaties were made and contracts were agreed upon, people would call upon witnesses to their ratification. Often those witnesses were their gods. This practice continues in the modern American justice system where one is adjured to “swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.”
In Deuteronomy, the Father Himself is a partner to the covenant. He cannot invoke anyone higher than Himself as a witness. Therefore, heaven and earth are called as His witnesses.
Consider and recognize, the choices we make determine what we have. If what we have is not what we want, we are dissatisfied and frustrated. How do we get what we want? We have to make better choices.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
The smart move is to gather as much helpful information as possible. We have the revealed truth of the word of God available to us. We can seek out knowledgeable and wise counselors to enable us to make the best possible decisions with the best possible outcomes.
Proverbs 15:22 Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is safety in having many advisers.
Proverbs 12:15 Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
The Father created us in His image. We have minds to think with, hearts to feel with, and a will to decide with; and God calls us to make right decisions. We’re not robots; we can hear God’s Word, learn God’s will, and decide either to obey or disobey (Wiersbe).
Making decisions is not a difficult task. Making right decisions is another matter entirely. What are the consequences of our actions?
The Father has laid out the most important choices in clear terms that are easy to understand. On the one hand, is life and good, on the other hand, is death and evil. Who really wants to choose death? Perhaps the desperate, the despondent, and the depressed.
Just to be clear, what are the choices? To love and obey the Father is life and good, to reject the Father is death and evil.
Do you feel lucky?