TIME TO CHOOSE

There’s comes a point in life where all of us have to make choices. In fact we make choices all the time. The question is “what are we choosing?”.

Making choices is all about looking at options and consequences. All of us have to determine the desired outcome and what it will cost to get us there.

A good decision requires an understanding of the steps required to get the desired result.

Taking into account all the possibilities can be daunting, but without the research, chances are the decision will be negatively affected, resulting in a bad consequence.

The history books are filled with stories of cause and effect that led to where we are today in society. Some of those outcomes have resulted in wars, death, and destruction. Some have enabled societies to flourish and grow. Some have caused stagnation and ambivalence.

When making decisions, we have to ask ourselves what is our desired outcome?

There’s an old saying that teaches us “life is what you make it”.

What choices are you facing today?

What is your desired outcome?

Have you considered the consequences of each choice?

Following is a discussion about cause and effect and the aftermath.

It’s time to decide…

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth:  and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. 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 24:14-15 (KJV)

 So…what were these gods like?

They were false gods with no power, except what people thought they possessed. People will worship just about anything, attributing power and sovereignty where there is none. Most all of these false gods demanded child sacrifice and sexual perversions as part of worship. That’s what the people believed in these foreign lands the Israelites traveled. Joshua likened them to the evil that was going on in the world before the flood. It was so bad that God had wiped out the entire world population with the exception of Noah and his family and the animals they brought onto the ark.

“And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD:  for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.” Joshua 24:19-20

Joshua was right of course.

The back story…

When Moses led the people out of Egypt to the land of Canaan where they were to conquer the people and take their land, they rebelled. They were afraid. They didn’t trust the God who had delivered them from bondage. Consequently, God sent them away, back into the desert until all those of adult age had died.

WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?

The people knew what God demanded of them. Yet while He was speaking to Moses on the Mount, they had already created and begun to worship a golden calf. Was this done in ignorance?

No! God had given them all they needed to thrive. The Bible books of Exodus and Deuteronomy tell their history. God gave them the Ten Commandments written by His hand on tablets of stone while they were still in the desert traveling to the Promised Land. He gave them laws to help them learn the difference between right and wrong. He established a priesthood to lead the people in worship and judgments for living righteously. God wanted to protect His people. He wanted them to trust Him to provide and to deliver them from the world’s wickedness. If only they had obeyed.

“And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck:  behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD: and how much more after my death?” Deuteronomy 31:24-27

However there were two exceptions, Joshua and Caleb. They were part of the group of men who went into Canaan to see what must be done to conquer it. When the men returned to their camp after spying out the land, they gave a bad report. They saw the land was prosperous, but the people scared them. Joshua and Caleb disagreed. They knew that with the Lord God’s help the people could be overcome. Sadly, they could not persuade them.

Their overall lack of faith in God is rather astounding. God had provided for this great multitude of people in a supernatural way. Quail by the multitudes were food for them at night, while manna appeared on the ground each morning. Water spouted from rocks. They witnessed miracle after miracle that demonstrated God’s love and care for this great people. Yet they did not believe He could overcome these Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.

Their unbelief caused them to lose God’s blessing, but still He preserved them. The remnant, consisting of their now grown children and their families, were ready.

It’s time…

Finally, it was time to gather the people together and lead them into the Promised Land.

“And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage:  for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee:  fear not, neither be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:7-8

Moses was not going with the multitude of people this time. Knowing that his death was at hand, Moses appointed Joshua to lead them. These people were ready. Moses had prepared them and now he reminded them:

“Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do. Ye stand this day all of you before the LORD your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:  That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day:  That he may establish thee today for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Deuteronomy 29:9-13

Challenge…

In our society today, the responsibility to live with decency and compassion falls heavily on us. There are those who disagree with Biblical teachings. Consequently, we see ourselves in a divided society that is a far cry from what our Founding Fathers envisioned. Preserving our nation “as one nation under God” is becoming increasingly difficult because so many want to destroy the Judeo-Christian values we highly esteem. Let us be wary of those who seek to take away our foundation and who seek to turn us from our Creator’s Laws. Remember what we have pledged as a people…

The Pledge of Allegiance

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

May our choices honor the Lord God Jehovah…it’s time to choose.

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;

In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statues and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply:  and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.” Deuteronomy 30:15-16

Closing: Finding Forgiveness and Hope…

The story of the descendants of Abraham is very compelling to me. Reading it reminds me of the tremendous opportunity everyone has to live life according to God’s way.

We can learn from this people that God honors His promises. As a Christian, I know that I too can trust in God’s promises. However, God requires my acceptance of His Son Jesus as my LORD and Savior. I have humbly acknowledged my sin and my need to be saved from the penalty I deserve for my sin.

The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Jesus already paid the price of death that God requires for sin. I am thankful that I am forgiven and will have a place in Heaven. If you would like to know more about how you can be forgiven and how you can have eternal life with Him, please visit this page:

http://www.lindaswordsofencouragement.com/do-you-know-for-sure/

Inspirational writer and photographer.

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