What follows in the next few verses after Deuteronomy 4:4 are some of the most profound and beautiful texts in all Scripture (the Hebrew is magnificent!). One could argue that, in essence, the message of Deuteronomy is found right here, and everything else is commentary. As you read these texts, think about various ways the principle here could be applied to us today, as well.
Read Deuteronomy 4:5-9. Why would the Lord through Moses have said what He did here to Israel?
The Lord wants the people to realize that they have been called, chosen, for a special reason. They are a “great” nation, just as God had told Abram right from the first call out of the Chaldees that, “I will make you a great nation” (Genesis 12:2; see also Genesis 18:18).
But the purpose of making them great was that they could be a “blessing” ( Genesis 12.2-3). And though the ultimate blessing would be that Jesus, the Messiah, would come through their bloodline, until then they were to be the light of the world. “I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6). Not that salvation was found in them, but that, through them, the true God, who alone can save, was to be revealed.
What a stark difference!
In these verses, Moses pointed to two things that made Israel special. First, the Lord was near to them, as He was in a unique way such as through the sanctuary, and second, because of the “statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law” (Deuteronomy 4:8).
Read Deuteronomy 4:32-35. What else was the Lord saying to them that should have made them realize what a special calling they had been given?
|No question, Israel had been given so much. Now, how would they respond?|