“Now look into it: into days long past, before your time—all the way back to the day God first created human beings on earth, from one end of heaven to the other. Has anything this amazing ever happened? Has anything like it ever been heard of before? Has any people ever listened to a god’s voice speaking out of fire, as each of you have, and survived? Or has any god ever tried to take one nation out of another nation using tests, miracles, wonders, war, a strong hand and outstretched arm, or awesome power like all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt while you watched?” Deut 4:32-34
The text this morning begins with a rhetorical challenge to the Israelites. Of all the gods that you have both known and seen, the gods of the Canaanites or Egypt, have you ever experienced anyone like Yahweh? A God who speaks, gets involved, delivers, and promises? The answer was a resounding, “No!”
The problem was that the people seemed to be quite content with the dumb idols of their past. They were murmuring and complaining that they were better off back in Egypt or building a statue and worshiping the golden calf. The reality was that they didn’t want to go up and meet the living God, so they sent Moses.
Moses comes back with ’10 words,’ the Decalogue, and with them a moral law by which these people are to live by. They were given an ethical standard for life and liberty. Instead, they turned them into laws or oppression and bondage. They really did go back to Egypt.