A Matter of Life and Death

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days . . .” Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (ESV)

All choices have consequences.

Do you believe that, dear one? We often like to think that when we belong to God, our choices don’t really matter so much. We assume that He’ll cover our bad decisions and work it all out for our good. After all, God forgives.

True. God forgives and redeems. But redemption from sin always carries a cost. Just ask Jesus.

Beloved, Moses spoke our opening scripture to God’s own people.

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life . . .”

Like it or not, every decision we make carries the potential to bless or curse. And according to our opening scripture, those blessings and curses don’t just affect us; they affect our offspring.

David learned that lesson the hard way.

You may be familiar with David—God’s chosen king over Israel—described by God Himself as “a man after my heart, who will do all my will” (Acts 13:22).

And he was. Well, most of the time. David loved the Lord and desired to serve Him wholeheartedly. But there came a time when David distanced himself from God’s presence. And only strength drawn from God’s presence can make us victorious when the tempter comes.

David should have stayed close to the Lord.

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 11:1

At the time when kings go off to war, David stayed at home. Bad decision. He wasn’t where he should’ve been.

Beloved, every choice we make opens a door to life or death.

David did not accompany his men to fight a war God appointed. He chose his own desires over his kingdom purpose.

Neglecting our kingdom purpose makes us vulnerable to sin. Click To Tweet

God Himself had established David on that throne. Yet when God led Israel to war against the Ammonites, David opted to stay home. That choice slipped him out of God’s will and separated him from His presence.

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God. Isaiah 59:2a

David’s separation was more than spiritual. It was literal. God’s presence rested over the Ark of the Covenant, and David’s army carried that ark with them to the battlefield (2 Samuel 11:11).

Do you see the danger, dear one? David didn’t go with God when He moved. That separation left him open and vulnerable to the schemes of the tempter.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. 2 Samuel 11:2-3

David discovered Bathsheba was married to one of his own warriors. That should’ve stopped the man after God’s own heart. But David had distanced himself from God. So instead of God’s Spirit stirring his heart and equipping him to do right, the hiss of the serpent convinced him the woman was a prize he deserved.

So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. 2 Samuel 11:4

Beloved, when we distance ourselves from God’s presence, we take on the nature of our enemy. What does that nature look like?

 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” John 10:10

David didn’t just steal what didn’t belong to him. When he found out Bathsheba was pregnant, he killed to cover it up.

In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.” 2 Samuel 11:14-15

Beloved, any one of us is capable of anything when we distance ourselves from God. That’s the nature of sin. It takes over. And it’s never idle. It’s strength and appetite will always increase.

The man after God’s own heart became an adulterer, a thief, and a murder simply because he got complacent about his relationship with the God he loved.

We must be diligent, dear one, or sin will take us too.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Without seeking God’s presence to stir up His truth in our hearts and minds continually, we will fall into sin. Sin we never thought we could be capable of. Sin that will carry great cost.

Next week we’ll explore the cost of David’s choices. We’ll also discover the beauty a God of grace will bring from the ashes when a heart returns to Him.

Choose life, dear one.

…that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days . . .” Deuteronomy 30:19-20

 

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