It’s TIME to take a ‘TURN’ in your JOURNEY: On this side of the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this law, saying, "The Lord our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying: 'You have dwelt long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey, and go to the mountains of the Amorites, to all the neighboring places in the plain, in the mountains and in the lowland, in the South and on the seacoast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the River Euphrates. See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to your fathers--to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--to give to them and their descendants after them.’" (Deut 1:5-8)
Moses and the people of Israel were now camped in the plains of Moab, on the eastern side of the Jordan River opposite Jericho (Num. 36:13; Deut. 1:1). Besides Moses, only two men, Joshua and Caleb, were still alive who had stood at Mount Sinai as adults when God originally had made a covenant with the Israelites. The rest of the grown men and women from that time 40 years before had died in the wilderness because of their rebellion at Kadesh Barnea (Num. 14:26–35). Now a new generation was taking over, and was about to enter the Promised Land, and like their parents before them, they needed to agree to the terms of the covenant.
The word Deuteronomy means “second law". This name is believed to be related to a phrase in Deuteronomy 17:18, which instructs future kings to write for themselves “a copy of this law.” Deuteronomy is the exposition and application of the law of God revealed at Mount Sinai. Moses began his account of Israel’s recent history by stating the Lord’s command for them to leave Sinai (mentioned as ‘Horeb’ throughout Deuteronomy) and to head for the land of the promise, the place God had sworn to give to their patriarchal ancestors (1:6–9).
This passage sets the stage for the first sermon by Moses as he would expound the Law to this generation, and remind them of their problems and victories during their time of wandering in the wilderness. His emphasis is on the past deliverances of God, but he also reminds the people that God will continue to fight for them in the future. God will guide them specifically according to His divine purpose and according to His promise to Abraham (Gen 15:18; 17:8), and He has been working out the events of the promise until now (1:6–3:29).
It is time now for the Israelites to take a turn in their journey as they headed for the Promised Land. They have stayed back in the mountain now long enough without claiming their promises! They have to trust God and move forward now!
As you look into your own life, you need to make sure that you have entered into your ‘land of promises fulfilled’ and in the place where God wants you to be in your faith journey. God has a purpose for your life, which He determined even before you were born. It time to stop going around in circles, but look up to the God who is leading you, and walk behind Him by faith!