Summary: There is that precious, opportunistic moment; when a gentle hand by a touch on the shoulder is able to magically remove the sting of failure from the midst of defeat,,, There is something about a shoulder that invites attention when we are slumped in sorr
Deut: The Promise of Life
STATING THE SCRIPTURES (Deuteronomy 30:1-20)
When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. He will bring you to the land that belonged to your fathers, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today. Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
The Offer of Life or Death ,,, And if ,,, I may let me take you a little farther in the text...
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" So, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
SETTING THE STAGE
There is that precious, opportunistic moment; when a gentle hand by a touch on the shoulder is able to magically remove the sting of failure from the midst of defeat,,, There is something about a shoulder that invites attention when we are slumped in sorrow, embarrassment or,,, exhaustion.... Shoulders drop when the heart aches... Shoulders stoop when the head falls...
In this sense they are the signpost by which others must know there is a disaster brewing within. The funny thing about it is that the same sign affects different people in different ways.
There are those people who avoid contact when others are hurting. It’s almost as if they sense that whatever it is that they have, they don’t want it to be transmitted to them... “If pain and defeat look like this, I certainly don’t want any part of it...”
Then there are those who, upon seeing someone else downtrodden, identify all too clearly with the emotion. They feel it in their hearts and reflect upon a time when they too were so stricken. “That hurts and the more and more I look at it, the more I remember my own hurt.” They are quick to move on,,,