"I Have Set Before You Life and Death"
Valley Station, KY.
The book of Deuteronomy is a restatement of the Law that God gave to Israel by her great leader, Moses. His leadership was almost completed, so he told them again that which was Jehovah's will for them. He gave to them a sacred charge concerning the Law.
After they had entered the land and had possessed it, they were to assemble themselves together in Central Palestine. The nation was to be divided into two companies. One group was to be on Mt. Gerizim to "Amen" those laws which would bring a blessing to Israel. The other company would be on Mt. Ebal to "Amen" those things which would be a curse to them. These laws had to be instilled in the minds of the Israelites for they meant either life or death to God's chosen people.
After Moses had issued this solemn charge, he said, "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live" (Deut. 30:19).
The Jews had a choice to make. They knew those things that would grant them life as a holy nation, just as they knew those things which would bring down a heavenly curse upon them. Moses besought them to choose life and live. Hence, he gave them a choice between life and death.
In the Christian dispensation, we have the same matter placed before us. In the Gospel of Christ, we have a similar contrast between life and death. And, like the Jews, we must choose between them. Paul said, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).
Sin is depicted as a task master under whom we may labor. When the labor is ended, we receive the reward of our labor, even eternal death! But, there is another choice offered to us and it is the gift of God. He has offered unto us eternal life through His Son. God, through His infinite mercy and goodness, has set before us life and death. We must choose between the two and the better choice is life!!
It should be observed that the medium through which eternal life comes is "Jesus Christ our Lord." There is no life outside of Him! He gave His life a ransom for many; he purchased unto himself a body of people with His blood; and no one can be His or receive the benefits of His blood outside of His body. We learn from the Scriptures that all spiritual blessings are in Christ (Eph. 1:3). Also, that there is no condemnation to them that are in Him (Rom. 8:1). Therefore, TO CHOOSE LIFE, WE MUST BE IN CHRIST! To escape the curse of eternal condemnation, we must be a part of His body or church. So simply and beautifully is this truth revealed unto us] I It is before us to be believed and obeyed. "Therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live." But, do it now, for the time of choice is for you only so long as you live upon the earth.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV: 25, p. 8
April 30, 1970