As the Children of Israel wait to cross into the Promised Land, Moses leaves them with the following simple instruction: “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deut 30:19). Staying alive is one of the most basic human instincts, so What does it mean to choose life?
Making an Active Choice
In the Bible “choosing life” is not just opposing death but leading a meaningful life. The key is that we must make an active choice to introduce meaning into our lives. If a life of righteousness is forced upon us, it cannot yield the blessings which God has in store for us.
A Life of Meaning
The Hebrew Bible uses the verb בחר (bahar) – “choose” – very frequently. One might even argue that “choosing” is God’s most central action in the Bible: God “chose” Abraham to be the first patriarch (Neh. 9:7), He “chose” Israel to be his people (Isa. 44:1), and He “chose” Jerusalem as his city and David as his king (2 Ch. 6:6). Leading a divinely sanctioned life means mirroring this essential act of making good choices: “refusing the evil and choosing the good” (Isa. 7:16).