But, to enjoy these gifts, to be able to use them, the people needed instructions. And God had provided the necessary instructions for them. Now it's up to the people to follow those instructions.
Scholars tell us that our version of the book of Deuteronomy is the result of editing after the Babylonian exile. In their opportunity to start over, they could reflect on their ancestors' return to the land after their escape from Egypt--and on what had gone wrong for them--and, consequently, on how to do it right this time.
We continue in the tradition of not getting it exactly right. Let us pray the words of Psalm 25:
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths....
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love.
for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness' sake, O Lord!
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.