Deuteronomy: why should I believe you?

Cover to Cover

Reading: Deuteronomy 16:1-19:21

Focus: Deuteronomy 18:14-22

In the ancient world, there were oracles and sorcerers, to which people would seek the future; in animistic societies, the shamans and witch doctors, seek the guidance of the spirits; in modern society, people refer to astrologists, psychics, palm readers, tarot cards, and the list goes on. Yet, are these sources reliable? Can they be trusted? People are looking for answers in life, but are these the right people to be going to?

As Israel had been released from Egypt they came into contact with the Living God, they came into contact with God that knew all things, before all time, before their own existence, until the very end; this God knew all that was between the beginning and the end. God revealed Himself to them and it was simply too much for them (v. 16) and, therefore, God introduced the prophet before them. The prophet would be God’s representative speaking on God’s behalf that which God wanted to communicate with His people. The prophet’s voice was, in essence, to be regarded as the voice of God and those who did not listen to the prophet would be called to account; likewise, anyone who presumed the role of a prophet, inappropriately, would be put to death.

There was one test given to prophets, so that the people to know whether one was a prophet or not. It was merely a matter of testing the words and proclamations of the prophet, if it came to pass, he was a prophet; if not, then he was not and not to be feared by the people and put to death. In this way, the people could test those whom claimed to be prophets, God’s spokesperson.

Why people associate any value with some vague reading for their star sign is beyond me… How does one paragraph in the newspapers and magazines make its application to the numerous populace that share that star sign? The language of the market palm readers, tarot cards, psychics, is so vague and undefined. Further, they try and sell their services to you, it’s not as though they know who will come to them… To answer the earlier questions, are these reliable and trustworthy sources to life’s questions… no, not really.

The great prophet to which this all points and finds fulfilment is Jesus Christ. It is in Him which the ultimate revelation of God is given—His love, His grace, His mercy, His justice; all that He desires to communicate with humankind is found in Jesus Christ. Here is a trustworthy prophet whose message and words should not be disregarded, those that choose to do so will find themselves called into account. If there is one prophet one can believe spoke on God’s behalf, here is One.

Next Reading: Deuteronomy 20:1-23:25