January 20, 2008

Not Just Any Prophet

Deuteronomy 18:14-22

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me ...
Deuteronomy 18:15


There are people we just can't do without: a compassionate physician, a patient teacher, a friend who confronts us with the painful truths we need to hear.

God's people couldn't do without a prophet like Moses. He was God's mouthpiece. He received God's word for Israel. No sorcery or divination could reveal God's will-only the word of God through Moses.

But Moses would not be around forever. Could anyone take his place? God would appoint others to declare his will. Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many others became God's mouthpieces. Everything Israel heard them speak in the Lord's name was true. Everything we hear from them in the Bible is still true. Yet none of them was "like Moses," who spoke "face to face" with God (Exodus 33:11). Only one Prophet was closer: Jesus Christ.

Unlike Moses, Christ did not have to climb a mountain to get into God's presence. Being God himself, he came from heaven to declare God's truth on earth. And after he ascended, Jesus sent the Spirit to lead believers in the truth (John 14:25-26; 15:26; 16:7-13).

We cannot do without the Holy Spirit. Compassionate and patient, the Spirit convicts us with the painful truth about our sin. Through the Spirit God declares that we are righteous before God. That's the truth, from God's mouth to your ears.

Holy Spirit, light divine, dwell within my heart, that I may bear the truth of God's righteous judgment and boundless grace. Teach me the word of God, I pray. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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