3.66 Deuteronomy -- The Threefold Cord

There follows in Deut 4:32-40, a remarkable section which focuses on the central purposes of God, and the uniqueness of His revelation to Israel:

         Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived?  Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by miraculous signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?  You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other (Deut 4:33-35).

This passage ties together the miraculous redemptive events of the last generation and connects them to the original covenant with their forefathers.  Moses was trying to give the people the larger picture of God's dealings with them, to lift the ordinary Israelite out of absorption with regulations and holy days and sacrificial requirements. All of these practical and necessary daily obligations were based on God's acts of favor: His love for their forefathers, His choice of Israel, His miraculous deliverance of them from Egypt, His voice speaking to them directly out of the fire, His plan to bring them to a land of their own.  All the great themes of the Pentateuch were summarized in these verses.  The point was to keep the people's hearts in touch with the great plan and the heart of God, and not let them fall into rote obedience.