Aside from the message from the King of Assyria being openly blasphemous of the Lord, the words that pierced my heart were, “Choose life and not death!”
This proclamation calls to mind a similar statement in Deuteronomy 30:19-20, when the Moses set before the Israelites all of God’s promises. Promises to bless and prosper them as they followed Him, and promises to bring judgment should they turn to false gods. He tells them, “This day I call the heavens and the 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.”
Doesn’t it seem like choosing life should be a no-brainer? Why would we choose a path that leads to death, chaos, pain, and suffering?
But we’ve been choosing that path ever since the garden.
We see it clearly in young people who make life-altering decisions without counting the cost. Those of us with a few years under our belt point out their not-yet-fully-developed frontal lobe and pray that they will survive their foolishness long enough to be physically able to evaluate the consequences of their actions beforehand.
We pride ourselves that, at our age, we are so much wiser and more discerning.
Eh. Not so much.
We might not choose to break the law, live in open rebellion, or chase after the next adrenaline rush, but we still choose paths that are self-destructive both physically and spiritually. We spend more time on the couch than we do moving our muscles while we still have them. We eat what looks yummy instead of what will give us strength and longevity. We feast on entertainment that glorifies violence and materialism, rather than on God’s Word.
God’s Word through Moses is to each of us, regardless of demographic or age. Each and every day, He sets before us two options. He offers them to us in a variety of ways, but the choices are the same.