Moses recounts God’s powerful acts at the Exodus and at Mount Horeb to show that God is unique among the gods.
Having demonstrated the nature of the true God (vv. 15-24) and His compassionate heart for His children (vv. 25-31), Moses turned his attention to demonstrate the uniqueness of God. He began by asking the Israelites to take a close look at history to see if Yahweh could be compared to anyone else. Three rhetorical questions capture the essence of the message. (A rhetorical question is a question that one asks to make a point rather than to get an answer).
The first question, “Has anything been done like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it?” necessitates a “no” answer. What Yahweh has done to rescue His people from the Egyptians and to lead them to the Promised Land by the way of the wilderness is incomparable (Exodus 14-15). This has never been done before.
The second question is, “Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived?” The obvious answer is that nobody has ever heard God’s voice from the midst of the fire at all. If other people groups were to hear God’s voice, they would not survive because the revelation was not for them. Such a manifestation would have been too wonderful or too dangerous for them to endure. Those who could hear God’s voice and survive were only those who were in a covenant relationship with Him (Deuteronomy 5:26).
The third question is, “Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?” The answer here is that no god has ever tried to do such a wonderful act. While other nations worshipped other so-called gods, they were simply deceiving themselves because those gods were powerless. They could not do anything for those who worshipped them. Instead, those gods were dependent upon their followers for their existence and survival because they were made of wood and stone, the “work of man’s hands”(v. 28). The reason God redeemed the Israelites and dealt with them in such wonderful ways was so that they might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him. As such, the LORD alone deserves glory and honor.
32 Indeed, ask now concerning the former days which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and inquire from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? 33 Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived? 34 Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him.
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