Summary: Moses' writings conclude by stating there has not been a prophet like Moses since, yet he tells us a new prophet will come. Who is this prophet and what does it mean for us?

A New Prophet- Deuteronomy 18:15-22

We are the New Testament Church. As such, we like to study the New Testament. After all, that’s where we learn about Jesus. That’s where we see how the church was formed. That’s the part that prepares us for what’s to come.

Sometimes, we get so caught up in this that we neglect the Old Testament. I’ve known some people who maintain that the Old Testament God is a God of wrath while the New Testament God is a God of grace, so they’d rather spend their time in the New. Never mind that it’s the same God in both testaments.

At my previous church, I recommended to the elders that we implement using a Sunday school curriculum that had age-appropriate lessons where everyone learned from the same text and then I would preach from that text that morning. I did this for two reasons- one, it gave families a common theme for discussion through the week. Two, I had been warned multiple times as I was starting at that church to make sure I wasn’t targeting people with my message. Choosing the text by the curriculum allowed me to point out that I wasn’t picking passages to get after people.

Even then, it never failed. The curriculum alternated between the Old and New Testaments each quarter. I’d get a couple weeks into the Old Testament texts and one of our leaders would approach me to ask when we’re getting back to the New Testament. He wanted me to focus more on the love of God and not the wrath of the Old Testament God. Mind you, the last time this happened I had just finished preaching about the 10 Commandments by flipping the Thou shall nots into here’s what to do- there was no wrath in the messages I was preaching.

So why are we spending time in the Old Testament now? Paul wrote this to the Corinthian church (read 1 Corinthians 10:1-6). We need to spend time in the Old Testament to learn from the history of Israel and, hopefully, avoid their mistakes.

In our passage today, Moses is addressing the people. God has already told him he won’t be going into the promised land. He knows his days are coming to an end. The book of Deuteronomy records Moses’ speeches preparing the people for the time when he will no longer be there to lead. He goes over the laws and statutes for following God, encouraging the people to remain loyal to God. Here, Moses informs Israel that God has promised a new prophet who will be like Moses.

Why is this new prophet needed? Obviously, Moses’ days of leadership are about to come to an end. Israel will need someone to fill his sandals. Moses relays a conversation he had with God where God had commended the people of Israel for displaying a proper fear towards Him.

In Exodus 19 and 20, about three months into the exodus, God calls Moses to consecrate the people for three days. On the third day, God is going to come down to the mountain to establish that Israel will be His people and He will be their God. On the third day, God shows up big time! Thunder and lightning came crashing down. The mountain begins to shake, a trumpet blasts louder and louder and louder, and the mountain is covered in smoke as God comes down in fire. God calls Moses up the mountain, then sends him back to the people to remind them to maintain their boundaries from the mountain.

And then God speaks so ALL the people hear. With what a imagine to be a large, booming voice, God presents the 10 Commandments for all of Israel to hear. The people are overwhelmed with fear, so they beg Moses to go talk with God on their behalf. Deuteronomy 5 reveals that they feared that by having seen God, they will now be doomed to die.

God appreciated this attitude, this recognition that we’re not worthy to stand face-to-face with God. He acknowledges here that the people need a go-between, a spokesperson on their behalf to communicate with God. That is the role Moses had played for several years. He does so now as he climbs the mountain to receive the tablets with the 10 Commandments, he continues to do so as he enters the tabernacle for a regular visit with God (read Exodus 33:9-11). God would talk directly with Moses and Moses would pass along the message.

By promising a new prophet, God is reassuring His people that there will be another spokesperson acting on their behalf. But how will they recognize this new prophet?

First, for the new prophet to be like Moses, he would have to be raised from among their brothers (v 15). Now, Exodus 6:16-25 provides the genealogy of Levi, one of the sons of Jacob (Israel), to establish that Moses is a Hebrew. In case there was any doubt of his identity, we’re told in Exodus 6:26 (read). This new prophet will also need to come from Israel if he’s going to be like Moses.

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