POWER OF CHOICE

May 17, 2018

 

DEUTERONOMY 7:12-26

 

There are very few moments in life where we didn’t have a choice but to say we don’t have it is one of the most common excuses we make. We make the excuse that we don’t have a choice because we fear taking responsibility of the outcome of that choice because we foresee that it may not go well. I realize that for us to move forward in our spiritual walks and even life in general that we have to own up to the powerful fact that we do indeed have choice for the Lord has created us with that ability. In today’s passage, Moses writes again the choices that the people of God will have to make as they move forward in their journey with the Lord and the results that will come from that.

 

NOTES ON THE TEXT

 

2 “And because you listen to these rules and keep and do them, the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. 13 He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you. 14 You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. 15 And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you. 16 And you shall consume all the peoples that the Lord your God will give over to you. Your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.

 

These are the blessings and results of keeping the covenant with the Lord.

  • Receive God’s steadfast love

  • Blessings

  • Multiply in the land

  • Fruitful in all areas of life

  • Be the most blessed among all the peoples of the world

  • Any and all opposition will be taken care of

 

When the people of God are faithful to the Lord, what they will experience because of that choice will be a type of life that mirrors heaven. But what about the times when people who do not follow God seem to be doing a lot better than those who are truly following Him? It is here that we have to consider what true blessedness is. If we think of being blessed as having a lot of things and living the good life now than yes the possibility of a non-believer being more blessed is possible. Yet what the Bible teaches us is that true lasting eternal blessedness is when someone is with God in a committed relationship. The blessings apart from God offer the same things as God does but with an expiration date. The blessings that come from God are eternal because He is eternal and thus we have to consider whether we are willing to forfeit temporary and often times quick blessings for the long-term blessings that come from the Lord. To wait upon the Lord will require patience for the majority of the time but if we choose to wait upon that blessing, we will find that we will be waiting for something that will last for a lifetime.

 

17 “If you say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them?’ 18 you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, 19 the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out. So will the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. 20 Moreover, the Lord your God will send hornets among them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you are destroyed. 21 You shall not be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God.

 

God comforts the Israelites because of the fear of going into the land filled with threatening people. God tells them several things to reassure them that they are to move forward and not let fear move them backwards

  • First He tells them to not be afraid.

  • He then tells them to remember what the LORD did in Egypt. When faced with struggles in the moment or potential struggles in the future, we are filled with fear that leads to anxiety. To breakthrough in the moment or in the future, we are to remember the breakthroughs of the past and How God is consistent in His power and faithfulness.

  • To fear things is a natural reaction but to cure the fear is trust in God for it is His presence that washes it away so that we can move forward.

 

22 The Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little. You may not make an end of them at once,[a] lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you. 23 But the Lord your God will give them over to you and throw them into great confusion, until they are destroyed.

 

Little by little, God will remove the enemy that inhabits the land. God brings a strategy for the Israelites to take the blessing and He does it this way because God knows that if the people were to take all of the blessings at once, they will not be able to handle it. When it comes to blessings, we want it now and want it all but a lot of times we are not even ready for it! God knows this about His creation and thus knows that it will take a process of development and gradual growth of a relationship with Him for the people of God to not drop the ball when they finally do receive the full blessing. When God makes you wait it’s for your good!

 

24 And he will give their kings into your hand, and you shall make their name perish from under heaven. No one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. 25 The carved images of their gods you shall burn with fire. You shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. 26 And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction[b] like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction.

 

Don’t leave anything of the enemy! God is asking for complete removal of the practices and rituals of the enemy so that it does not corrupt them. When it comes to sin, our downfall happens when we don’t fully deal with it but keep parts of it in our lives. Sin must be dealt with fully through the process of confession, removal of the sin in our lives, and thus changing the way we live as grace of God with our action brings transformation. A lot of times we don’t have complete breakthrough because we confess but don’t change anything about our lives to help keep that confession growing into freedom. To have freedom, we have to change the way we think, act, and feel so that we can fully get rid of the sin that was entangling us.

 

The final point of the passage tells the people to not let anything in their house! You and I are the gatekeepers of our lives in that we control what we allow to be part of our lives. Despite the popular excuse of not having a choice, we do have a choice majority if not all the time! Let us choose to guard our hearts, homes, relationships, and all that pertains to us from sin.

 

CONCLUSION

  • Choosing to obey leads to blessings that will last.

  • True blessedness is not just the blessing but the blessing with the one that gives it, which is God Himself.

  • To fear things is natural, to trust in God is the answer.

  • We must commit to the process of personal growth in the Lord so that we can receive and keep the blessing that the Lord has for us.

  • We are the gatekeepers of our lives, therefore we have the powerful choice of deciding what influences us.

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