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23 Feb | I have Set Before you Life and Death…

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

23 February • Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16 If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 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, 20 loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”



We all have made a deliberate choice to follow Jesus, trusting the Lord Jesus alone. The journey of faith is not a straight path. It is full of twists and turns. We need to make the right choice along the journey for a lifetime. Our choice will determine our destination.

But often, like the people of Israel, we face challenges to this faith in Christ. The Israelites were tempted with options, in their wilderness journey. Time and again they succumbed to the temptations. In Egypt, they were slaves with no options. In the wilderness, they were free people to choose what they want. But when they went through trials in the wilderness, they forgot that God, who had saved them, was with them. They drifted away from Him many times.

God placed two choices before them. Note the words “today life and good, death and evil”. Whether it is the normal or new normal, our faith should remain rooted in Christ. Our belief should be reflected in our daily life. Our values must be based on who our God is. They should not change with shifting circumstances. Our identity as God’s people should not be compromised by life events.

Friends, evil can subtly destroy our life in Christ. Some people have come up with excuses for their inactivity and disobedience to God, citing the new normal during the Covid times. As God’s people we should recognise the sovereignty of our unchanging God, no matter the situation. Our choices

should not be based on our circumstances, but on who we belong. God’s commandments, statutes and rules remain the same.

In the midst of suffering in the wilderness, God provided manna for the Israelites’ daily sustenance, a pillar of cloud to protect them from the scorching day and a pillar of fire to guide them at night. Unusual supplies for an unusual state of affairs. Staying with God in the “new normal” means that He will handle the unknown future. When God says “if you obey”, the Lord is not just giving us an option to “disobey”. He is warning us of the consequences of disobedience. Disobeying God leads to obedience to the Devil. The Devil also places alternatives but his intention is to destroy. He even tried to tempt Jesus—“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me”

(Matthew 4:9).

Look at what Jesus said, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only’ (Matthew 4:10). Jesus rejected the devil’s offer. Friends, take courage from Jesus to refuse easy alternatives. God wants us to obey Him with all our heart and soul. Our intellect and

emotions must agree to follow Him decisively. He wants us to leave this legacy of faith to the next generation. If we do so, we will be a blessed generation.



Gracious Lord, we thank You for being with us in this journey of Faith. Help us to discern Your will when we encounter different options. Grant us that eternal perspective so that we will obey Jesus. Give us the courage to say no to the subtle offer of Satan.



When attractive alternatives come with all logic, let us weigh the pros and cons of the offer in the light of God’s word.

Rev Ranganathan Prabhu


The Methodist Church in Singapore

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