1658.) Deuteronomy 18

Luke 4:16-21 (NIV)

Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them,
“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
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Deuteronomy 18 (English Standard Version)

Provision for Priests and Levites

1“The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the LORD’s food offerings as their inheritance. 2They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them.

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Music:

HERE  is “My Inheritance,”  sung by Travis Cottrell.

1 Peter 1:3-7 (NIV)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

_________________________

3And this shall be the priests’ due from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, whether an ox or a sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. 4 The firstfruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. 5For the LORD your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for all time.

Deuteronomy 7:6 (NIV)

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

Just as God chose Israel as a whole out of all the nations, so God chose the Levites out of all of Israel.  The point is clear:  the Israelites should care for the Levites in the same way that God cares for the Israelites.

The Levites had specific responsibilities both to God and to the Israelites.  They were to serve in the sanctuary, to teach the law, and to judge the people’s disputes.

6“And if a Levite comes from any of your towns out of all Israel, where he lives—and he may come when he desires— to the place that the LORD will choose, 7and ministers in the name of the LORD his God, like all his fellow Levites who stand to minister there before the LORD, 8then he may have equal portions to eat, besides what he receives from the sale of his patrimony.

Luke 10:7 (NLT)

Those who work deserve their pay.

Abominable Practices

Deu18 fortune_teller
9“When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. 10There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer 11or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, 12 for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. 13You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, 14for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this.

A New Prophet like Moses

John 1:15-17 (NIV)

John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ” From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—16just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17And the LORD said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.

This stained glass window, found in the chapel of Wadham College, Oxford, depicts Aaron as a priest, Moses as a prophet, and a king. All these offices are fulfilled in Christ.

“Christ was truly, and in all commendable parts like him, in being both a prophet and a king and a priest and mediator, in the excellency of his ministry and work, in the glory of his miracles, in his familiar and intimate converse with God.”

–John Wesley

–from New International Biblical Commentary:  Deuteronomy
by Christopher Wright

These verses are of great importance in understanding the nature of true prophecy. Four points are significant. First, true prophecy would be a matter of God’s initiative (verses 15, 18). It was God who wanted to do the speaking, God who would address God’s own people with word or warning and encouragement. . .

Secondly, true prophecy would follow God’s model, namely, Moses himself. Moses’ role was as a mediator of God’s word and will. He was sent into a specific situation of need and crisis, within which he had to address the challenging word of God both to God’s own people and to the political authorities. He was faithful in intercession and passionate concern for the good of his people. He suffered with and for his people . . .

Thirdly, the true prophet would speak God’s message“I will put my words in his mouth.” Only by divine initiative could God’s words be expressed by a human mouth. But the fact that they could is the presupposition that lies behind every “Thus says the Lord . . .”

Fourthly, the true prophet carried God’s authority, for he or she would speak “my words . . .in my name.” Therefore, those who heard the prophet heard God; whatever response they made to the prophet they made to God, and they would take the consequences.

20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 21And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.”

Matthew 7:15 (NLT)

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.”

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English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
scroll.   http://www.mysarshalom.com/cms2/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/hebrew-scroll-torah.jpg
fortune teller.    http://s3.amazonaws.com/rapgenius/fortune_teller.jpeg
Jesus.   http://namaha.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/jesus-christ-divine.jpg
Prophet-Priest-King window.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/prophetpriestkingwindow.jpg
Jesus reading the scroll.    http://oneyearbibleimages.com/jesus_scroll.jpg
wolf.   http://elraver.com/wyldheart/images-2/snarlingwolf.jpg
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