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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