Monday, September 2, 2013

Pentecost 16 C - Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
If it were as simple as choosing between life and death, prosperity and adversity we’d all be “living large.” But to choose life and prosperity is to choose obedience and that is the deal breaker. The children of Israel about to enter the land will all voice their choice for life and promise to obey, (Joshua 1) but God knows better and has already predicted the inevitable. “…these people will soon prostitute themselves to foreign gods... they will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them.” (Deut. 31:16) So why make the offer if you know the people won’t be able to afford the payments? I think there must be an eternal optimism in the heart of God, an undying hope; or maybe it is just the unconditional commitment of a tough love parent who is willing to suffer silently while waiting for the day when adversity brought about by disobedience will bring the rebellious child back to the bargaining table. “Come let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins be scarlet they shall be white as snow.” (Isaiah 1:18) Of course even that turns out to be a temporary fix for fickle creatures who are not inclined to obey anyone save their own self interest. So when the options were exhausted God sat down at the table and chose death so that the calamity visited upon the Christ might be our prosperity. How can you say no to such a thing? Choose life this day for God has already taken death off the table.

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