The Choice Is Yours! | IFCJ
Skip Navigation
Jerusalem

The Choice Is Yours!

When the LORD your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses. — Deuteronomy 11:29

One of the founding principles of The Fellowship is God’s eternal promise He made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you.” This is one of 18 devotions exploring the concept of blessing, barak, which means, “to increase,” or “bring down Divine abundance.” To learn more, download our complimentary copy of Rabbi Eckstein’s teachings on being a blessing to others.

I had a friend in college who was an excellent chess player. Many people challenged him, but Alan always won. One time, to shake things up a bit, Alan suggested to his losing opponent that they turn the board around so that now Alan would be playing the weakened position and his opponent would be at an advantage. Amazingly, Alan was able turn the game in his favor once more.

Then he turned the table again and fought from the losing position, and once more gained the upper hand. No matter how many times the players changed positions, Alan always won. Where one person was on the road to defeat, Alan brought success. Though the circumstances never changed, the players did, and that made all the difference.

In our verse today from chapter 11 of Deuteronomy, Moses commanded the children of Israel to proclaim blessings and curses on two different mountains once they entered the land of Israel. On Mount Gerizim, blessings would be declared, and on Mount Ebal, curses would be read. The Jewish sages teach that these two mountains represented blessings and curses in their very physical makeup.

Interestingly, although both Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal experienced exactly the same amount of sunlight, rainfall, and fertility, the former mountain was lush while the latter was barren. The sages explain that these mountains were an analogy for humanity. Two people can have the exact same circumstances in life, and while one thrives, the other withers. How is this possible? How can the same influences create totally opposite reactions?

The answer lies within the “player.” In life, we are all given a certain set of circumstances, but what we make of our life is entirely up to us. That’s why two people can have the same situation and yet live out totally different consequences. It’s all in what we choose.

Our verse today offers us a choice. We can choose blessings or we can choose curses; we can choose to thrive or wither; we can choose growth or stagnation. We can use whatever circumstances we are given as opportunities to grow and thrive, or we can let our circumstances get the best of us and beat us into defeat. In life, success doesn’t necessarily go to the one who is most talented, brilliant, or savvy – it goes to the one who chooses to follow the path of blessings.

Friends, no matter what situation you find yourself in today, know beyond the shadow of doubt that it is one in which you can thrive. All you need to do is make that choice. Cling to God and to His Word and choose life’s blessings!

Download Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s inspirational booklet, Building Bridges of Blessings, to learn how you can be a blessing to others.

Hebrew Word of the Day
December 30, 2018
Theme:

Eloki —
Divine

LATEST DEVOTIONAL

The Bitter and the Sweet

April 19, 2019

God promised that there would be bitterness, but then there would also be blessings.

Read More

NEW TEACHING RESOURCE

On the Frontlines of Faith: The Historical and Spiritual Bond Between African-Americans and Jews

Learn more about the historic link between African-Americans and the Jewish community dating back to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s in our latest free educational resource. Download your free copy today.

Download Now

HOW TO HELP

Yael visits Edna with $25 Food Box distribution for Passover

Passover Approaching!

Tomorrow at sundown, Jews around the world will begin the sacred observance of Passover, a time that should be full of joy and hope. The harsh reality is that far too many are going without food, clothing, medicines, and other basic necessities. Please join with The Fellowship in these final hours before the sacred season begins. Your gift today will be a blessing of nourishment and comfort for a suffering Jewish person or family.

Donate Now