Know this day that I [am] not [speaking] with your sons who have not known and who have not seen the discipline of the LORD your God—His greatness, His mighty hand and His outstretched arm … but your own eyes have seen all the great work of the LORD which He did.
Moses takes a moment to remind his audience of who it is he is addressing. He is not talking to a bunch of people who have never seen God act on their behalf. Some of the group he is addressing were present at the parting of the Red Sea (v. 4). They were possibly quite young, but they were there. Most of them were present when others challenged Moses’ authority and God made it quite clear that Moses was His (God’s) chosen spokesman (v. 6). Again, some of them may have been young, but seeing the ground open and swallow people alive is the kind of thing that would stick with you. What Moses does in this very brief span of verses is establish that these people to whom he is speaking have already had the bona fides of God and Moses established in their sight. These verses are a reminder that he does not really need to go over the things God has done, because his audience was there.
This establishing of to whom he is speaking is important. It drives home the purpose of the doings of God that he is recounting. He is not going back over these things because he is talking to a bunch of youngsters who have not seen the goodness and might of God in their own lives, but because he wants to recall to mind; to make fresh in their memory the things that they have personally witnessed. Many centuries later, a woman meets Jesus at a well and runs back to town to tell everyone that she has encountered a prophet, at the very least, and possibly the Messiah Himself. The people go out to meet Jesus and their belief based on the woman’s testimony changes and they tell her It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world. The experience became personal.
So, too, is it in my own life. I am not reading a Bible behind which I have seen no power, but a message that I have personally seen change lives. I believe in a God who has shown Himself mighty on my behalf and on behalf of others whom I have known. I have seen God make addicts clean and seen Him restore families that had been broken. I have seen Him mend marriages damaged by various things. I have seen Him heal miraculously and even more miraculously give people a peace in facing their end that led others to belief. I have received His comfort and experienced the peace that is beyond understanding. All of this is my own experience; my own lived walk with God.
There is no action item for me this morning. No addition to my “To Do” list or my “To Be” list. Just a reminder that I have, with my own eyes, seen the power of God. When God speaks to me through The Bible, He is not addressing someone who has yet to see anything that might convince them of His character but someone who has seen Him work in ways consistent with His revealed character on behalf of himself (me) and others.
Say on, Father. I am listening.