The Word Made Fresh
1“When you have experienced these rewards and punishments, if you will recall them wherever the LORD has scattered you among the nations, 2and you and your children return to the LORD with all your heart and soul, 3then the LORD your God will restore you with compassion and gather you again from all the lands where you have been scattered. 4Even if you have been hauled off to the ends of the earth, the LORD your God will bring you back from there and gather you together. 5You will possess the promised land again and the LORD will make you even more prosperous than before.
6“The LORD your God will remove the sinfulness of your hearts and you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and soul so that you might live. 7These curses will be transferred to your enemies and others who take advantage of you. 8And then you will obey all the instructions I am giving you today. 9The LORD your God will give you success in all your endeavors and will give you many children and your livestock will increase, and the ground will produce abundantly for you. The LORD will take delight again in making you prosper as your ancestors did. 10All this will come about when you obey the laws and decrees that are written in this book of the Law and turn to the LORD with all your heart and soul.
11“The rules I am giving you now are not difficult to follow. 12They are not so lofty that you will wonder who can understand them and explain them to you. 13They are not so foreign that you will wonder who can sail the seas to find teachers to explain them to you. 14No, these rules are part of you; if you can recite them, you can keep them.
15“Today I’m giving you a choice – life and prosperity, or death and destruction. 16I command you to love the LORD and live the way the LORD wants you to live. Keep the LORD’s rules and laws and commandments. Then you will live and multiply and be rewarded when you enter the land the LORD is giving you. 17But if you don’t; if you disobey, if you are enticed into worshiping other gods, 18I am telling you today that you won’t last long in the land over there across the Jordan.
19“Today I summon heaven and earth as witnesses that I have offered you a choice between life or death; a choice between being rewarded or being punished. Choose life! And you and your children will survive! 20Love the LORD your God! Listen to what the LORD says! Cling tightly to the LORD! You will have life, and years ahead of you to live in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
1-5: Moses assures them that, even if they fall away, God will be willing to restore them if they return to the covenant with God. God does not give up on God’s people!
6-10: God will again bless them with fruitfulness – of the body, the land, and the livestock – if they return to God and obey the laws and ordinances of the covenant.
11-14: Here we are getting very close to the idea of God as Emmanuel – God with us – as Moses tells them that the word is “in your mouth and in your heart.”
15-20: To obey is choosing life. To disobey is choosing death. You might want to spend a little time contemplating this!
This is not rocket science. You have known people who have lived godlessly and paid the price. Yes, there are some who get away with it for a long time, even for a lifetime. But not beyond a lifetime.