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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

IT'S YOUR CHOICE

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 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. That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days...

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1). Following that, according to Genesis chapter one, God created day and night (Vs. 3-5), then He created the firmament with its atmosphere above, and the earth below which He divided into land and seas (Vs. 6-10). After which He created the grass and trees, and all plant life (Vs. 11-12), all heavenly bodies - the stars, planets, the sun and the moon (Vs. 14-18), the birds of the air, the fishes and all sea creatures that live in the waters (Vs. 20-22), and the animals that live on the surface of the land (Vs. 24-25). Finally, God created mankind, both male and female (Vs. 26-27), and gave everything that He had previously created to mankind (Vs. 28-30). And then, on the seventh day God rested (Genesis 2:1-3).

In the remaining writings of the first five books of the Old Testament, God, through His selected servants and messengers, and primarily through Moses, gave mankind the rules by which He expected them to live in order to receivethe blessings He made available to them from His creation. Our lesson text is taken from a chapter near the end of the fifth book of the Old Testament. Mankind is offered both life and death; both blessing and cursing. Mankind is free to choose. In a sense, God is saying to all men and women of the world, including those of us that are alive today, "It's your choice!"

What are the choices? Similar to the lesson text, we find in Deuteronomy 30:15, see, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil. The choice, then, is life and good or death and evil, or life and blessing or death and cursing. Given these choices, it would be unanimous that all mankind would choose life, good, and blessings over death, evil, and cursing. However, there are conditions. In order to get life, good, and blessings, we are required to love the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments (Vs. 16). Our other choice, the one resulting in death, evil and cursing, is noted in verses 17 and 18. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, wither thou passeth over Jordan to go to possess it. The final verse of this chapter, verse 20, tells us again what is required to receive life, good things, and blessings. That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days... Friend, what is your choice?

Joshua was 110 years old when he died. He was one of the most blessed people to ever live on earth and received all the good things from God's bounty. Joshua had the same choice to make that you and I have today. Joshua told the children of Israel, ...choose you this day whom ye will serve, whether the gods of the earth of the God of Heaven, ...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15). Joshua made a good choice for himself and his family.

Herod Agrippa II was king of Judea at the time the apostle Paul was on trial. Agrippa was in Jerusalem and wanted to personally hear Paul's defense. In the 26th chapter of Acts, Paul made a lengthy plea that accounted for his life from the time that he was persecuting the church, through the time of his conversion on the road to Damascus, to his call to preach the gospel of Christ to the Gentile nations. What he preached was that they should choose to serve God by accepting His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, and His words as the guide to their salvation. At the close of Paul's defense plea, Agrippa said to Paul, almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian (Acts 26:28). Agrippa made a bad choice for himself.

Have you made your choice? Do you choose life and blessings, or do you choose death and cursing? Do you choose to serve the God of Heaven, or the gods of the earth. It's your choice!