Everyday Choose Life – What Does It Mean?

Christian and I have been “believers” in Christ for most of our lives. We were raised in the church in that we would attend it with our family the requisite 3 times a year; Easter, Christmas, and when an important family member came to visit. We had exposure to God and the Bible yet, we felt that something was missing but wasn’t sure what it was. We grew up on different coasts (Christian off the Atlantic and Keema off the Pacific) and yet, we had a similar experience in that we both wanted to understand who God (YHVH) is and what it meant to be a Christian.

Fast forward 30+ years of searching, discovery, and walking with the Father to our present calling and our choice from the Scripture found in Deuteronomy 30:19 (I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day: I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life – if you and your offspring would live) for our ministry name.

I know it sounds kinda cool – at least we think so – but, what does it really mean? Is there really a choice to be made here? As long as your body cooperates, you pretty much have life right? Perhaps the better question is; What does it mean to choose life according to God’s definition?

I like to start my study of Scripture at its most basic level and dive in from there. In a passage like this one, I look for a word that really stands out to me and meditate on it, research it in its original form both from a language perspective as well as the picture form whenever possible. [I’ll post another blog that goes into further detail about the picture form of words soon]. In our passage in Deuteronomy 30:19, one of the words that really stands out to me is “choose.”

From my initial research, I found that there are 47 instances of the word “choose” – as it is translated into English. There maybe more or less when looking at the Hebrew word for choose but, we’ll start with the plain English for now.

1st Instance of “Choose”

Beginning from the beginning…the first time the word “choose” appears is in Exodus 17.9; “And Moshe said to Yohshua, ‘Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of Yah in my hand.’”

At first, this passage doesn’t seem to have a lot of meaning as it relates to our word. “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek” doesn’t give much of a sense of what it means to “choose life” from the perspective of blessings and curses and overall life choices…or, does it?

This story, in its full context, tells us that Yehoshua (aka Joshua) apparently did choose the right men because they won the battle. We know when reading the whole story that they prevailed in battle whenever Moshe (aka Moses) had the rod of Yah held up in the air but, began to lose whenever Moshe’s arms lowered due to fatigue and, at one point, had to have the assistance of Aharon and Hur to help keep Moshe’s arms held up with the rod.

What do you suppose would have happened if different men were selected? Would they have won the battle?

This is a great illustration of having those directly involved in the skirmishes against the enemy with the spiritual support of elders and the power/rod of Yah lifted up on your behalf during those skirmishes. Take note how Moshe, Aharon, and Hur were on top of a nearby mountain…it would be interesting to know the name of that mountain!

Choices made prior to the battle, while in the battle, and having the counsel and spiritual support of Godly people during those skirmishes are crucial for victory!

I think of the opening scene of the movie Gladiator where the Roman army is about to go to battle with Germania. The “General” is walking through the camp, talking at times to his soldiers and getting prepared for the battle to come. When the messenger they had been waiting for returns with the message they had been waiting for, battle was imminent. In an interesting comparison, we see the general take a small group of men to wage a surprise attack at their enemy’s rear. Do you think the men who went with the general were just “any” men? Just ones who happened to already be armed and access to a horse? Or, would the general of the most powerful army in the world at that time, with countless victories under his belt have chosen those men specifically because he knew their capabilities physically, mentally, and spiritually?! I think the answer is obvious.

Yehoshua chose men who he knew were fit for the fight and had the spiritual backing of a servant of YHVH. The choices he made that day mattered and resulted in life/blessings.

2nd Instance of “Choose”

Numbers 16.5; “and he spoke to Korah and all his company saying, ‘Tomorrow morning YHVH will show who is His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him. That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him.”

The next time the word “choose” is used, it is in relation to YHVH choosing. He has stated plainly that He has chosen Yisra’el as His “chosen” people.

When I was young, I used to refer to myself as the “chosen one” because I was adopted as a baby. When you’re a kid in school, it’s hard to explain to the other kids what being adopted meant. There’s a lot of heartwarming terms and phrases that a lot of people will use that you hear like; “Most babies are grown in a mother’s womb but, you were grown in my heart…” etc., These things didn’t make sense to the other kids on the playground until one day, I just said simply, “Your parents got what they got when your mom had you. My mom and dad “chose” me. From that point on, I was dubbed “The Chosen One.” 

I hadn’t given a lot of thought to that title for many years (I’m not about to reveal how many years I’m talking about). However, while doing this research, it’s all coming back and I have to ask myself why. I can only surmise it’s simply due to the fact that being chosen by YHVH, the Creator of all things, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Master of all is no small matter. If there is any lingering doubts about how precious and significant you are, put them aside – now!

In this passage, YHVH makes His choice – indeed He had already made it previously. The catastrophe occurs when mankind inserts its own will over YHVH’s will in a feeble attempt to alter His will and the purpose for our lives. Read the full story for a clearer picture of what that looks like.

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