For the ancients, the future was always to be a re-play of the past, as the past was simply an earthly replay of the drama of the heavens. That history repeats itself is false history.
HISTORY IS ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW.
The great gift of the Jews is that history is always something new, a process unfolding through time whose direction and end we cannot know, except, in so far God gives us some hint as what is to come.
Those wonderful words In Second Isaiah are as true and real for to-day as they were five hundred years ago
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Isaish 49:13)
The future will not be what has happened before; indeed the only reality that the future has is that it has not happened yet. It is unknowable, and what it will be cannot be discovered by fortune-telling, astrology or palmistry. The Romans used to try and predict the result of future events by auguries such as reading the stars or examining entrails of sacrificial animals.
Time ever flows forward. Clocks are merely a help in determining our day to day living.
We do not have any power over the future. In a profound sense even God does not control the future,. because it is the collective responsibility of those who are bringing about the future by their actions in the present. For this reason the concept of the future holds out promise rather than just the same old thing . We are not doomed, not bound to some predetermined fate: we are free.
If anything can happen, we are truly liberated from past time – as liberated as were the Israelite Slaves when they crossed the Sea of Reeds.(Red Sea)
This wonderful new sense of time did not descend upon the Israelites all at once. What began as the call of Abraham to leave his place and people and set out for an unknown destiny blossomed into the vocation of Moses to lead his enslaved people out of the god-haunted ambiance of cyclical time of Egypt, where everything that would be had already been and all important questions had been answered, already set in stone, like the staring immobile statues of Pharaoh.
Through the Ancient Israelites we have gone from the personal destiny of Abraham to the corporate destiny of the People of Israel. We have gone from a household god, that one carries along for good luck, to YHWH the God of gods whose power is mightier even than the mightiest power on earth can summon, because it is the power of love.
Behold I make all things New.