“O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they should consider their latter end” Deuteronomy 32:29
It is through reading these parts of the Bible that we can learn some important principles to guide us in many areas including parenting. Before speaking the words of this song to Israel, Moses had been warned by God that Israel would depart from following His word. In this verse of Moses’ song he is grieving over this future failure and crying out for the people to respond to God’s word. If the people were wise they would consider where their choices and actions were leading them.
God is going to bless those who are with Him and He is going to curse those who oppose Him. Considering the two consequences that lead to two different destinies or “latter ends,” which one would a wise person choose? This is the choice each generation of Israel would make in the future. It is seemingly a relatively simple choice. Identify with the Lord or identify with His enemies. The consequences and outcome of each group is given – blessing or cursing – so that they can “consider their latter end.”
This is a principle that parents will find beneficial in training their children. Teach them to look ahead to the consequences and where their choice will lead. All too often we tell our children what to do or not to do without teaching them how to evaluate the choices available so as to make the best choice.
In giving us the Bible the Lord has made available to us the opportunity to understand where our choices will lead so that we may choose wisely. That Israel has so far failed to enjoy the full blessings of the Lord is testament to the fact that they have made wrong choices and placed themselves at enmity with God. The same could be said of some Christians and certainly of the Gentiles as a whole. One has only to compare many of the choices our contemporary society is making and compare them to God’s word to see that we are placing ourselves at enmity with God.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). This is a warning for people to consider where the path they have chosen will lead and what its consequence will be. Their present living and their eternal destination depend on the choice they make.
A generation of Israel will arise that will heed the warnings and wisely choose Messiah Jesus as the way and their destiny. In the mean time anyone who will look ahead and consider where their choices will ultimately lead has the opportunity to choose Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28) and “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). Joshua put it this way, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).