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Deuteronomy 11 (ESV)
8 “You shall therefore keep the whole commandment that I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and take possession of the land that you are going over to possess, 9 and that you may live long in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give to them and to their offspring, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 For the land that you are entering to take possession of it is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated it, like a garden of vegetables. 11 But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, 12 a land that the Lord your God cares for. The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
13 “And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. 15 And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full. 16 Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them; 17 then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no rain, and the land will yield no fruit, and you will perish quickly off the good land that the Lord is giving you.
The book of Deuteronomy takes the past and puts it together with the present in such a way that we can move into the future with a heightened expectation of having God’s promises fulfilled in our lives. Deut 11:1-17 does this in the transitional setting of moving from the old year to the new year. In the middle of the passage is this sentence: “It’s a land that God, your God, personally tends – he’s the gardener – he alone keeps his eye on it all year long” (v12).
The entire calendar is under the sweep of God’s caring eyes. Past and future are held together by his love and his promises. Because God sees the beginning of the year and end of the year in a caring way, we’re able to link up our past with our future. Once we see God in the year past, we can respond to him properly in the year ahead. The one great thing we know about the year ahead is that God is in it. His presence in it is more significant than anything that is there – more significant, in fact, than everything that is there.
Dear God, thank you for caring for me continually from the beginning of the year to its end. I will faithfully obey your commands and to love you and serve you with all my heart and with all my soul. (vv12-13)