In Deuteronomy 32:39, in our read-through-the-Bible plan for March 24 (sorry I’m posting a day late), God declares, “See now that I myself am he; there is no God besides me.” One goal in reading the Bible should be to see and know God in all His awesome uniqueness.
The word “See” commands us to apply our minds to reading, studying, and understanding God’s revelation so that we can grasp who God truly is. When we do this, we will realize that all idolatry is a lie and a waste. The Lord himself declares there is no God besides him. The true and living God is unique.
Our God is not just one in a pantheon of gods; he is the only sovereign God and Savior and the God with whom we must all deal. God himself speaks of his uniqueness in Isaiah 43:10-13:
“’You are my witness,’ declares the Lord, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?’”
There is no other God than the self-existing, self-sufficient One who revealed himself to Moses, saying, “I AM WHO I AM.” In Deuteronomy 32:39 he says, “I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal.” Here we see the sovereignty of our unique God. In justice he kills and in mercy he makes alive; in justice he wounds and in mercy he heals; in justice he metes out vengeance on his foes, and in mercy he vindicates his elect people, the remnant.
Look at verse 39 again: “See now that I myself am he!” God is saying, “Open your mind! Expand your rational capabilities! Exercise your reasoning powers! Read my revelation so you can understand who I am!” We find this idea also in 1 Samuel 24:10-11, where David told Saul,
“This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the Lord’s anointed. See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. Now understand and recognize that I am not guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion.”
So I challenge you: See! God in his great mercy has given us a Book wherein we see him as the unique, holy, mighty, compassionate One. People are free to worship as many gods as they desire, but we must realize that such gods are lies, mere products of human imagination. Dumb, mute, and deaf, they can only be carried about by men. They are impotent to save anyone from his troubles. And because these gods are worthless, those who worship them become worthless.
The God of Israel is the only true God. He alone is the Judge who vindicates and shows compassion to his people (v. 36). As we read in Isaiah 40:1, “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” Only the true and living God can comfort us and save us from our sins. Verse 39 says that he alone is the Savior who makes us alive, and he alone is our healer. Verse 40 tells us that he alone makes and keeps his promises, and in verses 41-42 we read that he alone is the victorious warrior whose flashing sword kills and whose arrows are drunk with blood. This is our unique God.