Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
It would be a simple thing to slide right past the word Now in this verse and miss something terribly important. Moses is changing gears from recounting the victories that God has already won on behalf of the Israelites to going over The Law with them. And in changing gears, he explains what he predicates obedience on.
First, the word Now signals that present obedience is predicated on past experience. If I have seen God come through for me in times past, it is only fitting that I obey Him in the here and now. Just as the Israelites had seen God give them victory over enemies in their recent memory and were being exhorted to listen to The Law in the present.
Second, obedience is predicated on future promise. After Moses ties obedience back into their experience of God’s faithfulness in time past, he pivots and points forward to the promises God has made to the Israelites. He exhorts them to obey so that [they] may live and go in and take possession of the land. These are promises for their future and Moses situates the Israelites firmly in the present; right between God’s faithfulness in the past and God’s promises for the future.
That is where my life of faith; of obedience should be lived and walked out: between God’s faithfulness to me in times past and His promises concerning my future. I have seen God come through for me time and again when I was walking in obedience to Him, so there is no reason for me to think He will stop now. Likewise, His promises have been made good in their proper time as I was obedient, so I can look forward and know that God has still more good things waiting for me over the horizon if I obey.
My obedience is to be tied in to the whole of my life. Present obedience is anchored by past experience of God’s faithfulness and looks forward to God’s future promises.
Father, please teach me how to rightly live here and now. Please remind me of Your faithfulness and Your promises and keep me anchored between them.