Heads, Tails or Both?


There are many opportunities for us to have to pick between two apparently equal options.  When we do that sometimes we simply say, “Hey, lets flip a coin.” By flipping the coin you simply are allowing chance to decide the outcome.  There is a 50% chance you will get the head of the coin and a 50% chance you will get the tail of the coin. 

Sometimes you wish you could get both.  Maybe the question is “Where shall we go on vacation this year?  Hawaii or the Bahamas?” So, it is sometimes possible you wish you had a three sided coin, so you could 33.333% of the time get both.  Check out this video of a guy who wants both at a coin toss.

Today’s reading really lays it out very clearly.  The Israelites are given a clear choice.  They can be the head or the tail, they can be on top or on the bottom.

Deuteronomy 28:13 (NLT)

13 If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom.

So, as it is laid out in the verse, the Israelites themselves can decide if the they want heads (listen to the commands and obey them) or tails (don’t listen to the commands or obey them).

As you go through the reading, you are going to see some clear examples of why listening to and obeying the commands of the Lord is the right choice.  You should want to call heads.  You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t call both. 

What you can’t do is not make a decision.  Well, at least you think you are avoiding a decision.  But, not making a decision, by saying I will let things just fall the way the fall, you are making a decision for tails.  You are making a passive decision to not listen to and obey the commands of the Lord.  You just chose tails. 

Now today, you and I are not expected to listen to and obey all the laws we have been reading for the last month.  With the New Testament we have a new way of set of laws.  When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, here was his response…

Matthew 22:34 – 40 (NIV)

34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 which we read last week.

Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV)

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

How are you doing on the decision to call heads or tails?  Do you want to listen and obey, or are you defaulting to be the bottom instead of the top?

About plimtuna

I am just an average guy trying to find his way along this journey of life. I am definitely middle aged. I am definitely happily married with a wife and two children. Personally, I have a passion for things eternal. Professionally, I have a passion for things that are securely in control.
This entry was posted in 05 - Deuteronomy, Encouragement, Some Lessons Learned and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Heads, Tails or Both?

  1. Pingback: The Secret Things of God « Plimtuna's Blog

  2. rseguel says:

    Somebody asked long time ago, What’s easier or more difficult: loving your neighbor that is somebody that you see or loving God that you cannot see?

  3. Keepin It Real says:


    Thank you so much for this post, you reminded me of an argument I have been trying to search for. It’s been slipping my mind as I’m trying to convince one of my friends to make the right decision, that NOT making a decision is making a decision (tails; to not listen and obey God’s commandments). Thanks again, this blog is and I think will continue to be a blessing to me.

    Keepin It Real

  4. Pingback: Why Read a 2000 – 3000 year old book? | 1 Year, 1 Book, Many People

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s