We are not the only ones to ponder the thought: “If I had yesterday to do over again…today would be different.”
Some days it goes beyond ponderance. Things hit home, and we adjust today to assure that the events of yesterday do not impact tomorrow; that, of course, is wisdom.
In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses brought all of Israel’s yesterdays into their today. The future, he warned, must not be a repeat of the past.
Israel had spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness because of irrational fear. They believed that the gods of the Land of Canaan were greater than YHWH.
Moses reminded Israel’s children and grandchildren of the nature and power of their God. He compares the local pagan gods with YHWH:
“Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?” (Deut.4:34).
There were those standing before Moses who, in their youth, had personal experience of the 10 plagues, had marched out in the Exodus, had seen the Red Sea part, had stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, and had felt the faith and courage of Joshua and Caleb.
They, all under 20 at the time, had also watched the incident of the Golden Calf, had heard Israel’s endless complaining and had been cursed for the cowardice of the other 10 spies—40 years of tomorrow wasted!
Moses had given a second reading of the Law. The Law that Yesterday’s Generation had failed to keep.
So, in offering it to the Generation of the Day, he was offering a blessed future—if the past was not repeated:
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants” (Deuteronomy 30:19).