The Year

The Year January 5, 2024

The Year

Yoav Aziz | sun after rain | Sea of Galilee | 12.22.20 |

But the land that you are crossing over to occupy is a land of hills and valleys, watered by rain from the sky, a land that the Lord your God looks after. The eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
Deuteronomy 11.11-12, NRSV

The Early Church Fathers are seemingly silent on this verse. When they are silent, I usually approach a Text with caution. However, I did mention this Text in my last post and heard it as a supplementary Scripture in a sermon recently.

To read my last post about Israel Is This Yesterday’s News? CLICK

Jerome seems to be one of the few voices speaking on this Passage, mainly verse 11.

All this Abraham undergoes that he may dwell in a land of promise watered from above, and not like Egypt, from below, no producer of herbs for the weak and ailing but a land that looks for the early and the latter rain from heaven. It is a land of hills and valleys and stands high above the sea. The attractions of the world it entirely lacks, but its spiritual attractions are for this all the greater. Letter XLVI.2

There seems to be a spiritual attraction to the land. Jerome is certainly capable of sharing this insight since he lives there and perhaps runs the first nunnery in history there in Israel.

modern thought

Yet I am not hearing what I normally do in modern application. The truth is, we often interpret Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land as stepping into our promises here in this life; the Christian abundant life (John 10.10).

Perhaps this is our reaction to the good life, a construct that has developed in philosophy and ethics. Perhaps it is our reaction to the American Dream. Nonetheless, preachers I greatly respect, as well as some authors, have talked about possessing our promises, stepping into our own Promised Land.

I want to believe there are promises ahead for me like the Promised Land. I want to experience abundant life. In some ways, when we Christians face the Judgment Seat of Christ, I believe our Lord will ask some of us, “Why didn’t you ever live the abundant life?”

To sort through the devotional applications of verses like this is well beyond the scope of this essay.

the year

I’m more struck by the unique phrase at the end: “from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.”

The eyes of the Lord watch over the Promised Land from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.

In modern application, the eyes of the Lord watch over us as we step into the abundant life from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.

This is a comforting thought.

The Lord often gives me clues about upcoming seasons of life. Sometimes I have had verified time frames in advance (a word of knowledge, 1 Corinthians 12.8) about how long a season would last.

I have little to go off of right now, whether things will change today or within a 3 month period, I can’t say for sure. I can’t project 3 months ahead of me down the road, but God is a little bit bigger than me. He can see a little farther. He has already marked out my year. I pray I walk in obedience and step into, lean into, all He has for me in 2024.

Browse Our Archives