This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.
Even under the Law, God gave His people opportunity after opportunity to choose life. Is there any doubt that in the Age of Grace, we have the option of "choosing life" always available to us? Will a God who desires mercy rather than sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings (Hos. 6:6), demand the sacrifice of our future and our children's future?
Our performance has fallen short of God's standard, but do we think He is waiting for us to achieve a perfect performance? Or is He waiting for us to call out to Him with expectation and longing?
Perhaps the main thing God will not do is allow us to mistake His mercy and provision for a vindication of our performance or our ideologies. Both preoccupations have value, but only within limits. When our whole nation's standard of living is declining, we can't analyze, sanction, punish, or organize our way out of the downward spiral. Sideways is not the direction we need to look for relief or enlightenment. We need mercy, not sacrifice—and the humility to look upward, take simple direction, and choose life.