For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?
It was toward the end of his life when Moses spoke these words to the people of Israel. The people stood on the threshold of the promised land, their long journey in the wilderness finally at an end. Soon Moses would die, Joshua would take his place, and the people would enter the land.
With the land would come temptation. Many nations would be encountered and with them, many gods. To prepare the people, Moses gathered them and retold to them the giving of the law and the wilderness wandering. One theme found throughout Deuteronomy is that there is no god like our God. We can hear Moses say, “Do not stray, you Israelites! You will see many strange things in the land of Canaan but remember what God has done; none of those false gods compare with the majesty of our Lord. Stay faithful! Only with Yahweh will you find safety and salvation!”
Much later in Israel’s history the prophet Micah delivers similar words in Micah 7:18-19: Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
To us Christians living in the 21st century, we too must remember these things. There is no other hope given to us. No political party, no insurance, no technology, no alternative life choice, no strange religion comes close to the majesty and mercy of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son himself, and the Holy Spirit are the one God who alone is mighty to save. Trust in him. Rejoice in his salvation. Give thanks for his mercy. Make known his name among the nations. And when people offer gods that are not God, turn aside from them and say, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).