Life and prosperity or death and adversity, don't blame God for your choice.
Deuteronomy 30 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
“So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you, 2 and you return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 3 then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. 5 The Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.
6 “Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. 7 The Lord your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. 8 And you shall again obey the Lord, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. 9 Then the Lord your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the Lord will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; 10 if you obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.
11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.
15 “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17 But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
How often do you hear someone say something like; how or why would a loving God send anyone to hell? The truth is God is a loving God and He does not send anyone to hell. In fact as it says in 2 Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. God’s desire is that no one would be separated from Him and His will. God created us though, with a free will, an ability to choose what we will do, how we will act and what we will believe. God does not decide for us what path we will take, what choice we will make concerning our present or our eternal standing with Him. Rather as in today’s text God says: “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish.” God does not choose what we do. He sets the choice before us, giving us full disclosure as to the outcome of our choice. How then can anyone blame God and say that He is unloving, when people choose for themselves the blessing of obedience or the curse of disobedience?
God says: “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.” It really is not that difficult to follow God and obey His commandments. When it is all said and done all God really wants of us is that each of us: love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. Even that though, simply loving God has proven too difficult for man. Throughout history man has proven that he will love self above God. He has proven that he will choose his own way rather than God’s way. God has revealed Himself, His goodness and His greatness, both through His word and through His creation, yet people have chosen not to follow His will for them. Setting before them a blessing or a curse, life and prosperity or death and adversity, they choose the latter. People choose darkness over God’s light. They choose disobedience over obedience, sin over righteousness. Yet God still loves us. Even though people have chosen sin and disobedience over God, He still loves us. He still sends no one to an eternity without Him. God loves us, so much so, that even though we did not follow His commandments and chose instead to sin, God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) Even though the world chose disobedience over obedience, God chose love. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Man proved that he was unable to choose well and follow God. So God in His great love gave us another choice. He still sets before each of us a choice of blessing or curse, life and prosperity or death and adversity. God does not judge or condemn anyone. He offers a choice. There is though a judgment. There are consequences to the choices we make. “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19) In Isaiah 5:20-21 God says: Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight! God has clearly revealed His will to us and for us. He has given each of us a choice. Because of His great love, He has also given us a way to escape the consequences of our wrong choice. God has given us His Son, that all we need to do to choose the blessings of God over the curse of disobedience is to believe in Jesus. Let no one blame God that any would perish because God is a loving God.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit thank You that although I chose wrong, because of Your great love, You chose another way to bless me, to give me life. I believe. Thank You for the demonstration of Your love, that while I was yet a sinner, that while I had chosen death and adversity, You gave me life and prosperity through Your Son, Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.