Choose life so that you and your descendants may live. — Deuteronomy 30:19
Yesterday’s sermon was on Moses’s final address to the people of Israel. The priest chose to talk about choices, the freedom of choice we all have, the consequences of bad choices in our life, and how we tell a good choice from a bad choice.
She did an excellent job, but I admit my mind wandered a bit to several other images.
The first being the image of Moses — who after all he did in freeing the Jews from bondage, and leading his people in the wilderness for forty years was the one person who was not allowed to enter the promised land. He had made a bad choice early on his life and so God prohibited his entry into the promised land. Who amongst us hasn’t made a choice that blocks a path today? Moses tells us we are not alone.
I was also taken by God’s choice. He/She too made choices. A choice to forgive over and over a pig headed people who turned away from God time and time again. God’s willingness to forgive his chosen people is not limited to their entry into the promised land, but his willingness to give Israel another chance continued until the birth and death of Jesus. Who amongst us hasn’t after a time given up on someone and finally refused to forgive? The entire Hebrew scriptures contains the story of forgiveness seven times seventy times.
Finally, Moses tells us to choose life, and in doing so I think he is saying life is not the mere extension of days, but life is loving and seeking God, not pursuing the ways of the idolatry of the material world.