By Glenn Metts
Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church, Carthage
The Word of God is critically important for each generation. Our lesson this week, based on Deuteronomy 18:15-22, shows us that God provides messengers to represent Him in the world.
In the Old Testament, God raised up Moses to deliver His Word to the people. He also raised up great prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea, Jonah and others. Their prophecies were predictive for the most part. They warned God’s people of devastation if they did not turn from their sinful ways and often told of things to come. As our lesson points out, these spokesmen also foretold the Lord’s promised salvation that would ultimately be fulfilled in the Messiah.
In our Scripture this week, God promised to raise up a prophet that would be like Moses from among their brothers (v. 17).
Ultimately, as C.H. Spurgeon states, “Then at last he would put all the words he had to say into one mouth, furnishing a full, complete, and unchangeable revelation of Himself to the human race. Our Lord Jesus Christ is that prophet like Moses by whom, in these last days, He has spoken to us.”
John MacArther also states that “the singular pronoun emphasizes the ultimate Prophet who was to come. Both the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 34:10) and the New Testament (Acts 3:22-23; 7:37) interpret this passage as a reference to the coming Messiah, who like Moses would receive and preach divine revelation and lead His people.
In fact, Jesus was like Moses in several other ways: (1) He was spared death as a baby (Exodus 2; Matthew 2:13-23); (2) He renounced a royal court (Phillipians 2:5-8; Hebrews 11:24-27); (3) He had compassion on his people (Numbers 27:17; Matthew 9:36); (4) He made intercession for the people (Deuteronomy 9:18; Hebrews 7:25); (5) He spoke with God face to face (Exodus 34:29-30; II Corinthians 3:7); and (6) He was a mediator of a covenant (Deuteronomy 29:1; Hebrews 8:6-7).”
Certainly, Christ was the ultimate Prophet and he was and is our Savior. According to Hebrews 1:1-3, Jesus is our prophet, priest and king. What a wonderful Savior we have! The Lord teaches us and guides us by the Holy Spirit as we grow in our relationship with Him.
Today, God still raises up those who can interpret God’s Word to our generation and our time. By way of practical application, here are some things we need to remember.
How can we tell when people are speaking for the Lord? The Life Application Bible points out two things. (1) We can see whether or not their prophecies come true — the ancient test for judging prophets. (2) We can check their words against the Bible. God never contradicts Himself, so if someone says something contrary to the Bible, we can know that this is not God’s Word.
When I was a young man, my pastor used to tell us all the time to check what he was preaching by the Word of God for ourselves. He didn’t want us to take his word for it. He wanted us to learn to check everything he preached by the Word of God. He would insist we open our Bibles and follow along with him as he read the Word and preached. That is a good habit to follow.