Deuteronomy 4:39 (HCSB)
39 Today, recognize and keep in mind that the Lord is God in heaven above and on earth below; there is no other.
This pericope is a plead from Moses for the Israelite people to remember God: who He is, what He has done, and that He alone is God. What a perfect reminder for us today!
The passage starts off with Moses focusing on false idols, and the fact that the Israelites must avoid them. He reminds the Israelites, and us today, that everything in the world, every animal, plant, rock, whatever, is from God the Creator. Therefore, to fashion a chunk of rock or wood into something that looks like one of God’s creations, is not worshipping God. Our focus and worship must be reserved for the One who deserves it.
Moses then goes on to remind us what the punishment for disobedience can look like. He restates his own punishment, describes God as a “consuming fire”, and warns of being scattered among the nations, and die in Canaan. But Moses balances this with the picture of a compassionate and caring God, who is always listening and waiting for our return to Him.
Finally, Moses appeals to the Israelites, and by extension us, to recognize the glory and power of God by the feats He has done. Just as the Israelites had stories of the miracles in the wilderness, and prior to that the stories about the exodus from Egypt; we have a wealth of ancient documents recording the word of God as recorded by the apostles, the church which has continued to reach the lost as the body of Christ, and testimony after testimony of saved lives and the working of the Spirit in and among us. There is no reason to doubt, there is no reason to fashion false idols of our own hands and worship them. The truth and it’s evidence is all around us, we simply have to remember it.
Lord, thank You for never hiding from us! We might think it sometimes, because we can’t hear You directly, or follow a pillar of smoke or fire, like the Israelites did. But we have so many more signs of You, not to mention the presence of Your Spirit in us all the time. I pray I would always remember that You alone are God, and always worship You. Amen.