from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Deuteronomy 11:26-28; 30:15-20
God always takes the initiative to bless us, but the final choice is always ours. We have to choose to receive His blessings.
“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse.” (Deuteronomy 11:26, NASB)
But what sense does that make? Wouldn’t everyone choose God’s blessing rather than His cursing? No, for we make that choice by the attitudes and actions we choose:
“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:
the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God…
and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God.”
(Deuteronomy 11:26-28, NASB)
To dramatize the choice, God selected a valley with a mountain on each side — Mt. Gerizim on the south side and Mt. Ebal on the north side. He appointed six tribes of Israel to stand on Mt. Gerizim, representing God’s blessings, and six to stand on Mt. Ebal, representing God’s curses. As they stood there, the specific blessings of obeying God were read, followed by the specific curses of disobeying Him. The people were given a clear choice. (See Deuteronomy 27 & 28; also Joshua 8:30-35.)
Centuries later, Jesus presented the same clear choice. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:24-27), he told the story of two different men, each of which built a house. The wise man built on rock, the foolish man built on sand. The wise man weathered life’s storms, while the foolish man met with complete disaster. Both had heard God’s word and knew it. The difference was that the wise man chose to act on what he knew, while the foolish man did not.
God is eager to bless, eager to give, eager to be close to us. But we decide our relationship with Him by the choices we make. In our daily lives, we either choose Him or choose to ignore Him. We choose life or death, blessing or cursing. One day those choices will be forever.