It seems that Deuteronomy has been leading us and preparing us to answer the words of Moses in 30:19-20. Deuteronomy began with a recital of God’s faithfulness that had brought the people to the border of the Promised Land; the people had been reminded of the basic commands of God (chapter 5), it was all summarized in chapter 6 with the commandment to love God with all of who we are (6:4-5); Moses expounded on the meaning of the law (Chapters 6-11); and then a detailed holiness code was given (Chapters 12-28) that regulated every aspect of life and underscored the point that there is no arena of human life outside God’s lordship over us.
The fullness of the covenant has been presented: God has been faithful and gracious toward the people of Israel – recusing them from slavery in Egypt, providing for them for 40 years wandering in the desert, and giving them a law to guide them. The correct response of the people has been identified – respond to God’s faithfulness by loving God and walking in God’s ways with obedience.
The question is placed before the people of Israel, in view of all that God has done, will they choose to follow the Lord completely?
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… (30:19)
This question has been asked of every generation and of every person ever since.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, God invites us to accept the acceptance that is ours through Jesus Christ. God’s people could not by themselves fulfill their obligations to respond in obedience to the Covenant. For once and for all, the saving death of Jesus Christ fulfilled our requirements. “For our sake, God made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
May God grant us the grace to accept the gift of life abundant and eternal that is ours in Jesus Christ. Because we have been so loved, let us love our God “with all our heart, all of our soul, and with all of our might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)