15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
There are three schools of thought concerning the choice given forth in the above scriptures.
1. That there is no choice really given because God is in total control of all choices.
If this be true then God chooses life for some and death for others. V.15 & V.19
If this is true then God only want some to love the LORD and to walk in His ways and keep His commandments. V.16
If this is true then it is God that turns the heart away which ultimately brings about death. V.17
If this is true then it is Gods will that some perish. V18 and yet we know that it is not Gods will that any should perish. 2Pet.3:9 Herein lies the folly of this belief.
2. That there is a choice but we do not make it but our old nature or God makes it for us.
That simply is NO CHOICE at all for the choice is taken out of OUR hands by our old nature or by God. Which simply means we do not really have a choice at all, which then leads back to the folly of the first line of thought.
If this is true then old nature in us is stronger then God and causes us to turn our hearts away.
3. That man has a free will and that a real choice is given to man, and man makes the choice by his free will.
This is the only school of thought that lines up perfectly with the scriptures above.
We read: I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
God does not set before Himself life and death, and God does not set before our old nature life and death, for the old nature must die.
So who is it that God gives the choice of life and death?
The only answer that does not damage the scripture is US, by our own free will we make the choice of life or death.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Who’s heart, who’s soul, who’s mind, who’s strength?
We read: But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish,
Why does God say ye shall surely perish? When we know that it is not His will that any should perish? 2Pet.3:9
Because in thy heart you have turned away from Him which for this cause He denounces us.
It is not God will that any should perish so why do some perish? Because man has a free will, and by that free will choice he perishes.
Note on perish: This does not mean those who perish cannot be saved all it means is that God places man back under the tutelage of the law which is a ministration of death but also OUR schoolmaster that leads us to Christ.
It is not the Fathers will to spank His children but if the child wilfully goes against Him he will correct His children, for if He corrects them not they are bastards and not sons.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Does God compel us to serve Him or does He reason together with us?
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. 9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
God instructs us and teaches us in the way that we should go by reasoning together with us, not by compulsion, for if one must be compelled to serve God then one is no better then a horse or mule who has no understanding.
Even a babe in Christ is not given a choice of life or death, this choice is only given to one who is mature.
Galatians 4:1-7Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
A child differeth NOTHING from a servant, a servant does not have a free will but can only do what his master tells him to do. But we are to grow from a child/servant into a full blown son and no longer remain as a servant who has no will of their own.
Jesus said Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Jesus as a full blown son had a free will, He could have called 12 legions of angels and never died on the cross, but He made a choice not my will, but thine be done.
Everything that God gives us must freely be given back to Him, He gave us life and we are to freely give that life back to Him. He set our will free from the slavery of bondage to the old man nature and we are to freely give our will back to Him.