Vol. 7, No. 6
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Choices in life are inevitable. Many times, we are not conscious that we are making a choice because we have done the same thing for so long. God's Word records the decisions of his great characters throughout biblical history. Adam chose to eat the forbidden fruit; Noah chose to obey and build an ark; Abraham chose to obey and leave his home country. The writer of Hebrews tells us of the choice of Moses. He chose to leave Egypt and to cast his lot with the people of God. Then there is the choice of Jesus as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane: "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." This choice gave you and me the hope of eternal life with God.
Sometimes choices are not easy to make, and God never promised that they would be. He did promise, however, that if we will make the proper choices, the crown of life will be ours. Such a choice was given to, and by Joshua in the long ago. "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD"(Joshua 24:15). Let us learn some things from his statement.
We learn the necessity of making choices, and the right choices. The people could serve the gods of the Amorites if they so chose, but we all know that such a choice would have been the wrong one. Through Jeremiah, the Lord set the two ways before his people: "Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death" (Jeremiah 21:8). The people could choose one or the other, but they had to choose. On Mount Carmel, as recorded in 1 Kings 15, the people were forced to make a choice. "And Elijah came to all the people, and said, 'How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him'" (vs. 21).
We see the urgency of making certain choices -- "this day." We live in a fragile world. Life can be snuffed out in the twinkling of an eye. It is imperative that we make the choice to serve God while we live, for to do otherwise is to be lost eternally. There are no second chances after death. The Hebrew writer exhorts, "Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion" (Hebrews 3:15). The wise man Solomon exhorted the young person to "Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth..." (Ecclesiastes 21:1). Notice the word "now!"
We learn the individuality of making choices. The choice to serve God, to obey his will, cannot be made for us by others. It must be made by each individual. Parents cannot make the choice for the children. Government cannot make the choice for us. Even the Lord's church cannot make that choice. Actually, because God has created man as a free moral agent, he cannot make the choice for us. Note the text: "Choose you this day..."
Finally, we learn of the consequences of making choices. Choices determine our destiny. They also determine our happiness or our sorrow. If we choose to obey God, then serve him faithfully until death, we inherit the heavenly home. If we choose otherwise, on that Day he will command us to "Depart." Are you making the right choice?