Deuteronomy 4 was so rich (and LONG) a chapter that I decided to break it up into two parts. You can read part 1 here.
But let’s not waste any more time! Who’s with me?! Let’s Go!
While many of the themes of obedience and story continued in the second half of the chapter, Deuteronomy 2 had some very interesting things to say about the God who is writing the story and the people who are acting it out.
God vs. Idols
The people get a warning: when you enter the land, you may become complacent and will turn to idols. If you do, you will be exiled to foreign nations and be forced to serve their gods.
And these gods? They are made by human hands. They are objects of wood and stone. They are incapable of sight, hearing, eating, or smell.
I am guessing that was set up as a contrast to God. If that is so. That means God has at least four of the five senses.
What a fascinating way to not only describe God, but to contrast him! Those other gods can’t do things that our God can. Our God has human characteristics. Specifically the sensory characteristics.
Interesting that Moses didn’t say that the idols were incapable of touch. I guess of all the senses, that is the one they actually CAN do.
And Another Thing . . .
God is also described as merciful.
If you want to know what merciful means, I would look at the next few phrases.
- I will not abandon you
- I will not destroy you
- I will not forget you
I wonder if mercy means staying with someone to ensure that they are ok. Here’s why I think that.
Abandonment is a passive way of killing someone. Destroying someone is, obviously, an active way of doing it.
But God will do neither. He will remember his people and he will stick with them. Even when they have screwed up as royally as they will.
Speaking of His People
“For ask now about former ages, long before your own, ever since the day that God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of heaven to the other: has anything so great as this ever happened or has its like ever been heard of? Has any people ever heard the voice of a god speaking out of a fire, as you have heard, and lived? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by terrifying displays of power, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? To you it was shown so that you would acknowledge that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.”
That is all.