“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.”
– Deuteronomy 18:15 NASB
These are the words of Moses. He lived about 1,500 years before Christ was born, and he wrote the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers…and this one: Deuteronomy. Here in this verse from Deuteronomy, Moses is prophesying of Christ. That is, Moses is declaring on behalf of God yet another promise that Messiah would come.
Moses spoke these words to ancient Israel. In retrospect, we can see something in this sentence that was not immediately apparent to them – that God would raise Messiah from the dead. We see this in the words ” The Lord your God will raise up…”
A “prophet” was a spokesman for God. That’s what Moses did: speak for God. Some people today think of a prophet as someone who simply prophesied – that is, predicted what was going to happen. That’s a very narrow view of a prophet’s message. They were usually calling the people to repentance, and whatever they said about the future was related to that call. Of course, the promises of Messiah coming were a reference to the future, and these promises were definitely a part of an Israelite prophet’s message.
Moses was a prophet, but also more than a prophet. He was Israel’s lawgiver. He established the nation of ancient Israel, transforming slaves of one nation into a nation of their own. Moses was John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and more all rolled into one. Therefore, when Moses says “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me,” he is promising that God was going to raise up someone who was more than a prophet. And that someone would be “from among you, from your countrymen.” In other words, it had to be an Israelite. Jesus of Nazareth, raised from the dead on the third day after His crucifixion, is the only candidate qualified for fulfillment of this prophecy!
Note then the action item Moses attached to the prophecy: “you shall listen to him.” May we do that today…and every day.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord God, You announced Your coming to live as one of us in so many different ways – including this fascinating promise You made through Moses. The least we can do is listen even more intently to the things You have told us to do…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.