For ask now concerning the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether any great thing like this has happened, or anything like it has been heard. Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live? Or did God ever try to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord Himself is God; there is none other besides Him. Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might instruct you; on earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire. And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day. Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the Lord Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time. (Deuteronomy 4:32-40)
Hearing The Voice Of God
The nation of Israel was the most blessed nation among men. Their history was rich in its beginning and the unfolding of the plan of God through the seed of the Abraham’s descendants. When they were not a people, they served in bondage to the nation of Egypt. By the mighty hand of God, He led them out and made them a great nation. Moses guided the people to Mt. Sinai where the Law was given and the nation established. Rebellion was in the heart of the people and during the forty years of wandering God impressed upon their hearts His sovereignty. Coming to the land of Canaan, Moses recounts their history as a reminder of how they must continue to serve the Lord in keeping His commandments. He reminds them to consider how special they were of all the nations on the earth.
What nation could boast the history as the people of Israel? The mighty hand of God delivered the people from slavery through the powerful miracles of the ten plagues. Rahab told the spies who came into Jericho the people of her land had heard of the great miracle of the Red Sea. The nation of Israel was feared because of the mighty power of God giving them victory over all their enemies. Moses reminds the people they had experienced firsthand the voice of God. When they camped at Mt. Sinai, it was a fearful thing to see the cloud, smoke, lightning as the mountain quaked greatly. The people had seen this with their own eyes. Through trials, signs, wonders, war and a mighty hand the Lord brought the people of Israel out of Egypt to the borders of a promised land. Their clothes did not wear out and they never had want for food or drink. All of this was done to show the Lord Himself is God and there is no other god.
The appeal of Moses was to remind the people that with all the evidence of the power of God, they should be careful to keep the law of God. The Lord did not show Himself only to impress them with His power. He exhibited His power to exhort the people to keep the statutes and commandments of the Lord. Salvation would come from obedience. The need to hear the voice of God and keep His commandments was paramount to their survival. There is no other God and He alone has rule on earth. His word is the only word. There is no other word. This has not changed in the thousands of years since Moses penned the book of Deuteronomy.
Israel experienced firsthand the majestic power of God. After everything they saw and heard, they rebelled against the commandments of God. The problem would later be pointed out by the Hebrew writer who said they failed to mix the word with faith (Hebrews 4:2). Moses had made the plea to take what they had seen, believe with all their hearts in the power of God and follow the will of God. Their failing is the same problem faced by God’s people today. Through the revelation of God’s word, we see the miracles, power, mighty works, raising of the dead and wonder-working power of God’s Son and fail to impress on our hearts the word of the Lord. So many Christians live in a spiritual kindergarten of knowledge. The evidence for God is clear and demonstrative. Without mixing the word with faith, we lack courage to face the challenges of life. People of God must be people of the book. It will go well with us when we keep the statues and commandments of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Now that is a great story.
Ignorance of the Bible means ignorance of Christ. (Jerome; 340-420; Prol. In Comment. in Isa.)