Friday, December 27 2019
Who is the God who spoke to the people of Israel from Mount Sinai? The text of Deuteronomy reveals many things about God. The transcendent causal Creator of the universe has revealed Himself in His creation, so that the universe displays God’s attributes of “His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Rom 1:20b). The study of the attributes of God is “theology,” and the theology revealed by the universe is “natural theology.” All that Moses revealed about God the Bible aligns with “natural theology” as displayed by the reason and science of the universe.
Moses revealed and recorded:
1. God gives commands to help His people. God’s relationship with His people sets an ancient model for every nation to establish order and protect the people by the highest ideals according to the great standard — God. At the beginning and end of this section of Scripture, Moses commanded Israel to keep God’s statutes and commands for their own good (Deut 4:1, 40). Furthermore, Moses commanded Israel to keep God’s commands that life may go well for them and their children so that they would live long in the land (Deut 4:40).
2. God’s laws are better than man’s laws. Moses commanded, “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you” (Deut 4:2). Moses reflected upon God’s justice to destroy the men who rebelled against God by choosing to worship Baal so they could sleep with other women (Deut 4:3; Num 25). While humanity has thought to progress the universal ethic and change reality to match their wants and desires, God does not change and He knows what is best for each nation. No nation can improve its laws without the highest ideals according to the most perfect standard — God.
3. God’s laws and statutes are wisdom and understanding. The greatest nation should be defined as having the greatest ethical ideals. God’s nation of people have laws that cause the nations of the world to respect them and admire their God. Regarding God’s Law, Moses commanded, “Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’” (Deut 4:6; cf. Deut 4:5–8; Ps 119:98–105).
4. God wants His people to work diligently not to forget God’s works from their hearts. The model of God and Israel tells another truth more than that laws order a nation, but God’s highest teaching and wisdom belong on the hearts of every citizen and they must work not to forget the righteous instruction of God. Moses instructed, “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 4:9).