Choice & Warning

I came across this passage during my reading time today:

When you enter the land that GOD, your God, is giving you and take it over and settle down, and then say, “I’m going to get me a king, a king like all the nations around me,” make sure you get yourself a king whom GOD, your God, chooses. Choose your king from among your kinsmen; don’t take a foreigner—only a kinsman. And make sure he doesn’t build up a war machine, amassing military horses and chariots. He must not send people to Egypt to get more horses, because GOD told you, “You’ll never go back there again!” And make sure he doesn’t build up a harem, collecting wives who will divert him from the straight and narrow. And make sure he doesn’t pile up a lot of silver and gold. (Deuteronomy 17:14-17 MSG)

I’ve probably read that passage through dozens of times across twenty-plus years of consistent bible reading, but something about it finally hit me tonight. All of the things the people were being warned about were things that they would eventually go on to do. From their desire to be like other nations and have a king, to the foibles of the kings themselves. This passage reads like a list of the problems and mistakes made by Israel.

What does that mean for us? It means we should pay attention. God knows our mistakes before we ever have the opportunity to make them. I believe He gives us the opportunity to make the right decisions. I believe He gives us forewarning.

I’ve been asked this before: if God knows our choices before we make them does that mean there is still a choice involved? Yes, I believe so. I believe that we are granted a free will to act and choose. The option to deny God makes choosing Him all the sweeter.

Choice elicits opportunity for desire. Desire is the fruit of the heart. It reveals what we want to do. It reveals our nature. It reveals who we are.

God knows our choices. God knows our options. He loves us deeply, even when we choose poorly, but it makes the journey of walking life out with Him a continual act of worship.

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Rescued

“They are your people still, your inheritance whom you powerfully and sovereignly rescued.” (Deuteronomy 9:29 MSG)

Moses is talking to God in this passage. Recounting a series of moments in which he interceded for the wayward Israelites. And this final verse of the chapter paints such a clear picture of God’s work. The powerful and sovereign work of God didn’t stop with the Israelites in the Old Testament.

God rescues! He is the rescuer. He comes into our mess.
Our trouble.
Our problems.
Our pains.
Our selfishness.
Our often self-inflicted upheaval.
Our personal slavery of the soul.
And He rescues.

It may not feel that way or seem that way. Especially when life is beating you up. But God rescues. He does it powerfully. In a demonstration that declares he alone has the ability to do it. He does it sovereignly. With the dignity and veracity of the King of All.

He brings anyone who would come to him into himself. An inheritance. A part of the family.

Yeah, sign me up for that.

Walk-a-what?!?

40 years…….F-O-R-T-Y! That’s a long freaking time to walk. And for what or why?

Moses and the children of Israel wandered aimlessly through the dessert. Well, that’s not entirely true. They had a target. They had somewhere to be. An appointment with the Promised Land, but they chickened out.

Twelve guys went in to check it out and only two came back ready to obey God and take the land. Ten naysayers got loud and got their way.

Pessimism talks. And people listen.

But as people of faith, when God speaks we should let his clear directive ring in true in our hearts long after the doubting crowd has shuffled off to the next fad cause.

Listen. Believe. Obey.

I don’t always make the mark. Sometimes I just straight up fail. But we can’t afford to fail like those guys Moses sent out did. They delayed destiny, robbed a generation of their inheritance, and had to walk it off for forty years. YIKES!

You can read the story for yourself in Exodus through Deuteronomy in the Old Testament of the Bible.