Therefore, Choose Life!

18 Aug , 2020  

The Shepherd's Fool Tulips in the sunFor this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.

See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 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.

But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 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.

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, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”   (Deuteronomy 30:11-20 ESV)

God Loves Us and Wants Our Love

This commandment is not too hard for you.

The Shepherd's Fool Wild flowers in the sunGod is Creator. He is, therefore, Sovereign. He gets to call the shots. In the obscurity of eternity past, He conceived of a mortal companion that would be capable of love. Almighty God already had companionship and love in the Trinity. He had all that there was to be had. He was a companionable, loving Trinity of three Persons in One Almighty God. And yet He wanted something other that was not God to Love God.

Why, is a mystery. He had all the love. He had all the fellowship in and of Himself. He did not need anything more. He was, is and always will be complete in Himself and in Himself. Nevertheless, He desired to have another who could love Him.

He could have created another spirit. Perhaps the Cherubim, Seraphim, Archangels and angels were His first Creation. They loved the Almighty, but they had one limitation. They were Created to love and obey. They were not volitional.

Someday I will have to do the research necessary to discover how Lucifer had the volition to not only covet God’s throne, but also to corrupt a vast number of angels to join in Lucifer’s rebellion.

We Are Created to Love God

The Shepherd's Fool Leaves in the sunStill the Almighty wanted some “other” to love Him. He determined it would have to be material. That in turn required God to Create laws for the material to hold together. Electrons swirling around in the infinitude of space needed cohesion to form substantial things. God Created Gravity, Laws of Motion, Magnetic Attraction, Light, Energy (and therefrom Heat). All this was “without form and void”. God moved and created light, and brought the formless to coalesce into liquid and solid. He exploded the light and heat into an extremely vast number of flaming stars as centerpieces of solar systems. And then, God expanded the solid exponentially. He coalesced the solid into a great number of earths to orbit around the stars. All perfectly following God’s “thermal-kinetic” laws

Still all this was insensible. That “other” needed being and sentience. It needed electrons to coalesce into a shape. It needed a place to inhabit. The habitation was delineated by the earths available. These formed the first layer of foundation for the other that God desired. He focused in on a mediocre star; and then on the third planet from that sun. There the Almighty chose to plant a garden of multiform plants – trees, bushes, flowers, lichens and molds. They formed the second layer of foundation. On that basis, the Almighty brought forth sentient creatures – insects, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. They formed the tertiary layer of foundation upon which the Almighty could create that other.

God Creates Humans to Love

The Shepherd's Fool Wheat grass in the sunTo this moment in eternity all God’s Creation had been impersonal. He had conceived and he had spoken it all into existence. But with the “other”, the Almighty got His hands dirty. He selected some of the basic elements and based on the excellent design of the mammals, He personally formed a human being. Animals he had spoken into being and into life. Humans, He said not a word, but personally formed the first; and then the Supreme being the Trinity, the Almighty God, in a kiss of love, breathed into man the Spirit of Life.

Man opened his eyes and beheld the most magnificent, infinitely loving Maker and Master. The Almighty filled all of this other’s first living sight.

Man’s heart was stirred and he knew, as the absolute first knowing, that he loved his Creator. God introduced him to the earth, the garden the animals. As man began his work, he felt joy in his obedience to the Almighty’s instructions. This was the second knowing – joy of obedience.

Still as he claimed mastery over all the animals in the naming of them, he saw them in pairs, each kind having a mate. But he had none. God was wonderful, a magnificent companion who loved him completely and who man loved completely. Nevertheless, God was not a mate.

God Creates Woman

The Shepherd's Fool Woman watching the sunsetThe Almighty was not surprised by that lack. For His reasons He created Mankind male only, at first. As the man’s sense of lack of a mate grew, the Almighty anesthetized him. God, the Divine Surgeon, opened Man’s chest cavity and removed a bit of bone and flesh. Again personally, hands-on, created a mate to complement and fulfill man; therefore, she was called Woman. Adam opened his eyes and there stood Eve and God, the two beings he loved in all the world.

Adam and Eve shared the tending of the garden. After a day of labor, they relaxed setting aside the work until the next day. They were never rushed. There were no schedules. The work was satisfying in itself. The rest at the end of each day was just as satisfying. They would first bathe in the River Gihon. Then the Almighty joined them and the three strolled through the evening in loving companionship. Adam and Eve pointed with innocent pride at all they had accomplished. God was pleased with their obedience and industriousness. Life was such a joy – filled with love, accomplishment, peace and God’s Presence.

Adam and Eve Sin

I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.   (Deuteronomy 30:15)

There were two trees in the Garden of special note. The Holy Spirit has not given us any indication that Adam and Eve sampled the delights of the Tree of Life. The thrust of the information was The Fall. Eve and then Adam both disobeyed Almighty God, their loving Father. They chose to sample the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

How could they be that stupid? Well, they weren’t really stupid. They were innocent, naive, inexperienced. They knew nothing of deception, having lived only in the Truth of God. Nevertheless, just as soon as they actuated their disobedience, their righteousness was stripped away along with their innocence. The close, loving fellowship with their gracious Father was severed. They knew the burden of guilt. They sought to hide their sin deceiving God, hiding from Him.

Satan said, “Ye shall not surely die.” It was a half-truth. They would not immediately die physically. But they immediately died spiritually and physical death was immediately in the future; whereas before sinning, death had not even been known. Satan gave them a half-truth that was a whole lie.

After being exiled from the Tree of Life, Adam and Eve drop out of the story, except the Holy Spirit makes record of some of their, likely, many children. The sins most other children committed were not recorded.

The Sons of Adam and Eve

The Shepherd's fool Pink flowers in the sunTheir second son, Able, gives us an indication of his parents’ righteous teaching. He was the “good” son. In obedience to Almighty God, he offered a lamb as a righteous sacrifice, i.e. life for life. It was a lamb of sacrifice to cleanse Abel of sin.

The elder son, was of a different character. He apparently was not listening to Adam’s or God’s instructions. He thought the offering to God was a ceremony. He brought the best he had. But it was not an atonement for his sin. What Cain needed to do was obtain a lamb from Abel.

Abel’s name means “something transitory”. Cain’s name comes from a root meaning “provoke to jealousy”

Cain thought his offering was good enough, so when God honored his baby brother, instead of Cain, he took offense.

Despite their loss of righteousness, God was intimately involved with the humans He Created. Knowing that murderous sin was in Cain’s heart, the Almighty God took a personal interest and spoke directly to him, “If you obey me in the manner of sacrifice, your offering will be accepted. If you persist in disobedience you are open to greater sin. Satan is waiting at your door, but you have the ability to triumph over him.”

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”   (Genesis 4:6-7)

But, tragically, Cain liked the feeling of jealousy and resentment. It gave him a sense of power, so he chose to embrace that, The enemy of our souls lied to Cain and he, like Eve, believed Satan, rather than God. Satan said, “You know, if Abel were dead. You would be the only one, so God would have to approve your offering.” The logic was there, except for one slight detail. God doesn’t have to do anything by man’s logic.

Cain chose to eliminate Abel. He hid the body and covered Abel’s blood with dirt – the “Perfect Crime”, no evidence, no body.

God has a way of asking questions He already knows the answers to, “Cain, where is Abel? I miss him.”

Cain compounded the felony with a lie and an accusation against God. “I don’t know! And besides he’s a grown man, I don’t have to keep track of him.” The implication is that God was exceeding His authority expecting Cain to keep track of his brother.

Cain chose a series of evils, when the good was so easy. By setting aside his pride, Cain could have gone to Abel and asked for, or even purchased a lamb for offering. It would take humility and acknowledging that Cain had to learn from Abel. Instead he preserved his pride at the price of Abel’s life and Cain’s banishment from God’s Presence – and loss of his pride anyway.

Obey by Loving the Lord your God

The Shepherd's Fool boy on swing in the sunNow let’s leapfrog over several millennia to the time of King David and after. David loved Almighty God! He had grown to be intimate with the Almighty as David, in solitude, tended Jesse’s flocks. He chose to obey and follow the Almighty exclusively with all his heart. In battle, David followed the Lord God, and God gave him victories against superior forces time and again, over Goliath, over Saul (David refused to slay Saul despite two separate opportunities), over the Philistines, and all the rest. By example He led the People of God to worship YHWH exclusively. During David’s and Solomon’s reigns Israel honored YHWH, exclusively, so they had peace and prospered.

However, beginning in the reign of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, idolatry cropped up and began to flourish. The people chose to worship nothingnesses, building places of worship on “every high hill”! From the division of the nation into Israel and Judah, Israel completely rejected Almighty God and worshipped nothingnesses, particularly Baal and Ashtoreth.

Judah had a checkered history. Under the evil kings they abandoned God Almighty, but under the righteous kings, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Uzzah, Jotham, Hezekiah, and Josiah (even though several of these “good” kings committed grievous sins) they reformed the nation and eliminated idolatrous worship. Under those latter kings Judah was spared defeat by the bully nations.

Israel and then Judah were clear object lessons for us today. When a person or a nation commits his, her or their hearts to the loving Almighty God, he, she, or they are protected and prospered by the Almighty.

If Your Heart Turns Away

When individuals or nations turn their back on Jeshua, He as the righteous Savior, gives them up to their desires. Paul instructs us in Ch. 1

Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore, God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.  (Romans 1:22-25)

The Shepherd's Fool Calendula flowers in the sunIn our nation, today we have chosen to feed on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We are living by human logic and understanding.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.  (Proverbs 14:12)

We have begun to bow down at the altar of science. We have worshipped screen stars and rock stars and sport stars, as if they had wisdom, when all they have is fickle human emotion. They declare the latest politically correct craze, regardless of the truth that God reveals, and theydecry the “deniers” as pariahs.

We are sacrificing our pre-born babies on the altar of Moloch, which we have re-branded as “convenience” and “birth control”.

We are being told that we must embrace the abomination of homosexuality and all its spawnings. The laws of the state are enforcing our compliance with fines and suits that bankrupt believers who adhere to their faith in Jeshua.

We are indoctrinating our children in public schools and colleges to turn them into idolaters and away from Jeshua.

We have ignored past history. Very few are even cognizant of Biblical history. Even the history of our nation is unknown. America prospered and was victorious as long as we looked to Jeshua as the Lord of our nation. In the middle of the last century faith in Jeshua began to be eroded and now three generations later believers are just a faithful remnant.

You May Dwell in the Land

America is not ours. All the world, all the cosmos belongs to our Creator God. He gave this land to the faithful Pilgrims and their successors the Founders of this nation. America was founded by men and women who believed in Jeshua as their Lord and Savior. They knew that as long as the People adhered to faith in the Lordship of Jeshua our nation would prosper. As long as we were submissive to the will of God Almighty, we could keep this land, living in peace and prosperity.

The Shepherd's Fool Wildflower Seed Pods in the sunWe introduced the scourge of slavery to pollute the nation and we reaped the whirlwind of God’s judgment. A war to free the slaves cost America the blood and lives of 623,026 of our youth. BUT GOD! … accepted that sacrifice and allowed us to keep this nation.

From the 1850’s to the 1930’s, America has sent hundreds of missionaries to the far corners of the globe to evangelize the not yet reached with the Gospel.

In 1917, we sent our men to rescue Europe from stalemate and likely defeat during WW I

In 1941-45, We fought again, sending our men to Europe to save the nations from the Nazi scourge and at the same time sent our men into the Pacific to destroy the Japanese attempt to take over those nations.

After we had brought our victorious men home, leaving thousands in graves all over the world, we spent Billions of dollars rebuilding the war-torn nations of our enemies and our friends.

But since those godly sacrifices, America has turned away from God. We have been increasingly excluding Jeshua from sector after sector of our society.

Jeshua, the One who will judge nations and peoples with righteousness has, in his mercy, withheld His just condemnation, giving America the space to repent and return to surrender to the Lordship of the Mashiach. If we do not, He will cast down our nation and allow another to have a go at living under His rule.

He gave the Jews a millennium and a half to see if they could live under God’s Law that He gave to Moses. They could not. God sent His Son, Jeshua to give them one last chance. They rejected Almighty God’s only Begotten Son: therefore, Jeshua sent His Disciples to the Gentiles throughout the world. Christianity has spread across the globe by faithful missionaries. Many, if not most, were sent and financed by America.

He has given America 400 years. We began strong, and yet, in the last century we have drawn away from Jeshua.

Living in His Blessings

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 30:20)

The Shepherd's Fool Queen Anne's Lace flowers in the sun.What must we do? We must take Jeshua seriously. He said,

Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.   (Mark 16:15)

You are charged with an evangelical mission.

Jeshua said,

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.   (John 17:20-21)

It is your word of testimony that will:

  • Lead others to Jeshua
  • Give them the foundation to believe in Jeshua
  • Bring them into the family of Almighty God and make us all one in God and one with one another
  • Make the conditions right for the Holy Spirit to send belief in Jeshua to every corner of this globe

We cannot bring in the Kingdom of God by our efforts, but we can proclaim salvation to all who will hear that wonderful news, that Jeshua is the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is to Him we must all surrender and be saved, clothed in righteousness and be given a place for eternity in the Presence of Love inestimable, joy unspeakable and peace unceasing.

Go in the power of the Holy Spirit to change your friends and neighbors, to change our nation and to change the world!

Prayer for Grace and Service

Lord God Almighty, You sent Your Son to transform our lives and to give us Your message to the world

You sent the Holy Spirit to empower and embolden us to seize that message of salvation through Jeshua ha Meshach, and proclaim it from the housetops.

You have adopted us as Your beloved children. You are asking us to follow Your Son and the Holy Spirit into a hostile world and give them your love.

We choose to obey. We choose to comply. We choose to be Your hands of mercy, Your feet to serve and Your mouths to proclaim the love of God for all people.


Benediction for Choosing God

“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and in the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.   (Romans 16:25-27)

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