After the disaster of the 12 spies, and Israel’s refusal to enter into the Promised Land, the nation spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. Then, yes, when those year passed and the time came to, finally (after a lot of detours), take the land, Moses gave them a long pep-talk. Pretty much most of the Book of Deuteronomy is that pep-talk.
Early on, Moses said something to them. Talking about all that the Lord had done for them, Moses asked rhetorically: “And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?” (Deuteronomy 4:8). He said, too, that keeping them was so important because “this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” (Deuteronomy 4:6)
This is your wisdom and your understanding. In other words, the better quality of your life, of your existence, of your material success and spiritual prosperity, especially in contrast to the pagan nations around you—all this comes, not from yourself, or from anything in you in and of yourself, but from God and from the statutes and judgments that He has given you. That is, because of the truth that the nation of Israel had been given, truth directly from God Himself, the Hebrews had incredible advantages over everyone else.
But in the end, what good would all this light, this truth, be, if they as a people don’t follow it? Their obedience to this light, this truth—this would be their witness to the outside world, which would say: “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”
The parallel to us today as Seventh-day Adventists? It should be obvious. Right?