Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the Lord Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. (Deuteronomy 4:39)
As we discussed in the previous devotion, Moses charged the people of God to go beyond just knowing about God to know God — to be in an intimate relationship with Him and with His Word. Furthermore, they were to know that the God of Israel was/is God — there is no other. Regardless of how many countless “nothing gods” the world might serve, none of them could compare to the God of Israel because He reigns in heaven above and in the earth below. Therefore, anything and everything that exists came forth as a result of His Word and His Will.
Rabbinical commentators expound upon this verse and distinguish a belief in the One true God with how the nations are carried away with fanciful myths and the illusion of magical powers. In other words, Israel was to always remember that the God of Israel doesn’t operate in the same way the false gods of this world do — He doesn’t do magic tricks. As Sovereign of the Universe, He does the miraculous, and therefore, Israel is not to put their faith in those who are involved with divination, magic and the likes. Furthermore, we should never fear those who practice such which, in my view, includes curses — Balaam couldn’t curse what God had blessed.
So what can we glean from this today? Let us never put our trust in what society places their confidence in. Ultimately, the institutions and values of man will crumble and fall when they are based on anything other than a confidence in the One and Only God. In Him alone we find a sure foundation and hope for the future. If we do not place our hope in Him then there is really nothing to hope for, but when we do we will walk in blessing for us and for our children after us. So let us close with the words of the Psalmist who said:
I will lift up my eyes to the hills — from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)
Blessings and Shalom,