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EVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS?

December 12, 2016

Text:  “Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?  “To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.  Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire.” Deuteronomy 4:34-36

People will fall all over themselves to see something new, old, rare, exciting, or beautiful. Today a lady  excitedly told me that she is going soon to see  an Elvis Impersonator performing in Dallas! Given your personal tastes, you might want to see a work of art produced by a “Master”, or a symphony written by Mozart. How about a trip to see the Parthenon or the Pyramids? If you are a baseball fan, you might covet being in the stadium to witness a no-hitter. Such visible greats excite and inspire us.

Have you ever seen anything like this? An event, or a great speech. A deed of inspiring generosity; an action of tenderest compassion. These things are long remembered and can generate goodness and acts of love. Open your eyes and behold them. Make room in your memory for things you might want to imitate.  But first recognize it’s source (many sources possible). Posit the grandest thing you might observe and ask yourself if it certifies evidence pointing to God. It can identify God as its Creator and honor Him as worthy of your faith and worship!  

The Israelites, freed from Egyptian bondage, delivered by the provided passage through the Red Sea, fed with bread from heaven, and this day standing round Mount Sinai fearing its flaming fire, their ears assaulted by insufferable thunder, and further frightened by the very booming voice of God Himself; they listen intently to Moses read the Law and encourage them to pledge themselves to accept a solemn covenant with God.

The Israelites were familiar with Yahweh (Jehovah, I AM) whom Moses served. They wanted their soon-to-be nation to be protected and guided by a God who would be a  well-known deity, powerful and beneficent.  They wanted firm evidence of his potency and eminence, his competency to deliver on his part of the pact. Moses states the evidence as God reminded him and especially tells them, To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.” Deuteronomy  4:35 Yes, my friends, the evidence is visible, and not circumstantial, but real!

Israel had a front row seat to observe the awesome (yea, beyond awesome) mighty works of God He performed to make them his chosen people. Your eyes have seen what the Lord did…” Deuteronomy 4:3a  God challenges them to consider what they know by their own experience. “For ask now of 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 such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of.” Deuteronomy 4:32  

These helpless people watched the miracles that were delivered by Moses. He cast Aaron’s rod to the earth and it became a serpent to swallow the serpents of  Pharaoah’s magicians. They beheld as Moses pointed the rod of Aaron and the Nile River turned to blood; its marine life died. He smote the earth with  the rod and there were plagues of  frogs, lice, and flies. On went these plagues until there were ten things that neither the Hebrews nor the Egypytians had ever seen before. His nation humbled and ruined, Pharaoah was finally forced to emancipate the Hebrews. Exodus 6:1-12:50  

But this day, as they stood around the mountain, their senses were stretched to the boundaries of belief. They heard and saw miraculous doings truly administered by a Divine person. The irresistible voice of God from the midst of the fire and smoke on the mountain terrified the people. They could not endure the loudness but begged Moses to be their go-between so they would not be destroyed. “For ask now of 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 such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of.” Deut 4:32 

Their vantage point allowed them to behold other notable things that could attest the veracity of the miracles. They heard the booming voice of God, but they were certain that that voice did not emanate from the body of a man but from the spirit of God. Then the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice.” Deuteronomy 4:12 Then Moses was told to make a copy of the Ten Commandants so that they would have other testimony to certify the events also. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” Exodus 34:28b  Excellent Testimonies!  

But their wavering faith prompts God to warn them to remember and stand firm. Yet don’t fault them…just look in the mirror!  God points his people  to the law as their foundation. “Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples…” Deut. 4:6  God’s people must provide and maintain healthy souls. ““Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.” Deut. 4:9a.  And their memories are redirected to the incomparability of these accomplishments presented to the people of YHWH for comparison to the incapabilities of false gods.   “ Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?” Deuteronomy 4:34 

YES! These wonders were presented for the Israelites for their belief and testimony for them to give to the Gentiles for their belief in the true God. AND YES, even we ourselves can testify through the word of God to our contemporaries  of HIS magnificent  deeds! Your eyes have seen through their eyes; your ears have heard through their ears!  Tell again and again the old, old story!

To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.”  Deuteronomy 4:35

REM

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One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    It’s hard to understand why they were so rebellious given all that. And it’s also just a difficult for me to understand why God was so patient, and even to this day blesses the world through these descendants of Abraham. I think their present existence is one of the evidences of the existence of God.

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