My friend Laura is a Coptic priest’s wife, also known as a tasoni. (The word literally means “my sister” in the Coptic language, and I can definitely say that she is a sister to me in many ways.) In one post on her blog, Coptic Dad and Mom, she spoke about how her family would read Deuteronomy 28 before they would study other parts of the Bible. The first 14 verses are light and cheerful… and then it goes into all the curses that would be upon the Israelites if they did not serve the Lord rightly in the Promised Land. Some of these curses involved being transported back to Egypt (the Copts are the Orthodox Christians from Egypt and Sudan) as slaves. (For those who are interested, this post is here.)
In our passage from Deuteronomy 30 today, Moses summarizes that chapter and calls “heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses”. He calls on Israel to “choose life”, that is, to make choices that are life-giving and honor the Lord. If their choices do not honor the Lord, there will be suffering, and that is indeed what ends up happening every time they turn away from the Lord. (Judges is a great book to read to see this in action.) Our psalm backs this up in talking about how those who delight in the Lord prosper in everything they do.
Today, let us seek to choose life and make decisions that are life-giving and that honor God in all that we do.
Lord, help us to delight in your laws, that we might prosper in all we do, reflecting You in our words and actions. Amen.