Forthright Magazine

Choose life

The title of this article is the slogan of those who would love to see an end to abortion. They urge expectant mothers to choose life. Those supporting abortion declare themselves to be pro-choice. Both of these ideas come up in Moses’ closing lesson to the children of Israel who are about to be led into the promised land by Joshua, though not in the way we might expect.

Moses first spoke of God’s people turning to God. He looked into the future and foresaw their rebellion against the Almighty. They would worship gods who were not gods, being made with human hands, not breathing, unseeing and unable to act. He knew such rebellion would result in God sending them into captivity in foreign lands. He expected them to realize their error and return to God (Deuteronomy 30:1-2). God’s commandments, he said, were not shrouded in mystery, but could easily be understood (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). God’s aged spokesman said, “that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you” (Deuteronomy 30:3-4).

We still need to turn to God today. He no longer overlooks ignorance, but commands all to repent (Acts 17:30). Simon the sorcerer was admonished by Peter to “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:22). The church at Ephesus was told to “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place” (Revelation 2:5).

The returnees would have their hearts circumcised by God (Deuteronomy 30:6). Their Father would curse their enemies (Deuteronomy 30:7). The Israelites were also promised,

“And you will again obey the voice of the Lord and do all His commandments which I command you today. The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers” (Deuteronomy 30:8-9).

Those who turn to God today will also have their hearts circumcised. Paul said the brethren in Colosse had experienced it.

“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead” (Colossians 2:11-12).

God’s people had a choice to make (Deuteronomy 30:15). They could follow the path of obedience to God’s commands. Or, they could follow the path of rebellion by once again serving false gods and idols (Deuteronomy 30:16-18). The former led to blessings, while the latter led to perishing. Moses wanted only the best for the people he had led for forty years. He declared, “therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).

You and I have two paths before us as well (Matthew 7:13-14). The more disciplined path is the narrow way. It is also the way to life. I urge us all to “choose life.”


Gary C. Hampton
Latest posts by Gary C. Hampton (see all)