I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:19 (NRSV)
Choose life. Exactly how can we do that? God determines when we are born, when we die, and He has the hairs on our heads numbered. God has it all covered, and nothing gets past Him.
Theologians and sages and teachers have pondered on the question of free will for centuries. If God is indeed omnipotent (all powerful) and omniscient (all knowing) and exists beyond His creation (He is in, through and with His creation, but is not created and is beyond creation,) then why should we concern ourselves at all with what we do? If the events of the universe are all predetermined anyway, then why should we not just live as if anarchy is the law? These are questions that can be argued (and have been for centuries,) and it is good to question authority, but in practical application, is anarchy- the absence of laws and standards- a viable answer to the question of how we should live?
If for no other reason, we should strive to live as God wants us to live, because He is God and we are not.
Sometimes we have to go back to looking at God as our parent- to see God as Jesus addressed Him, as “Abba” or “Daddy.” When we were five we didn’t question when Daddy said, “You need to eat your vegetables, ” or “Eight o’clock is bed time.” We simply trusted that Daddy or Mommy knew what was in our best interest, and we did it.
In this passage from Deuteronomy- the final book of the Torah, or Jewish law, God is telling His people what things He wants them to do for their own good, so that they will live long and prosperous lives. These are loving instructions from our “Daddy,” given to us for our own good.
Love God (and this is primary,) obey God (do what He tells us to to do, as best we can with the Holy Spirit’s help) and hold on to God (have faith that He provides for us and has good plans for us.) These are God’s instructions for life as He intends for us.