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Returning to God—A Choice We All Must Make
As previously mentioned in the highlights on chapter 28, Israel, when in captivity and distress, would ultimately repent. It is interesting how God describes their future repentance: "And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 30:6). And how would the circumcision of the heart, leading to the love toward God, be manifested? Verse 8 gives the answer: "And you will again [in your future repentance] obey the voice of the Lord and do all His commandments which I command you today." Read that again! Memorize this verse! Many try to say that God's law is done away. But this passage shows that Israel, at the time of their repentance—which is still yet future even today—will at that time return to obeying the same commandments that Moses gave them. And so, far from being done away, God's law still stands (compare Malachi 4:4-6; Matthew 5:17-20). God also points out in Deuteronomy 30:11-14 that there are no good excuses for pleading ignorance. Moses made the point that God's commandments are completely accessible to Israel. And in the New Testament, the apostle Paul applies this concept of accessibility to the access we have to Christ (Romans 10:5-8).
God reminds Israel (and us today) that He has revealed to us the way of death and the way of life—but we are required to choose. God will not make this decision for us. However, if we choose the wrong way, it will only bring misery, pain and, eventually, death. On the other hand, choosing the right way means being blessed with prosperity, happiness and life—not just for us, but also for our children (Deuteronomy 30:11-20; compare Exodus 20:5-6). If we've chosen the wrong path in the past, it's not too late to turn around—at least, not yet. As the first part of this chapter shows, we can choose to return to God and His way. And, when we do, He will forgive us and lead us to life. May all of us make the right choice.