Throughout Scripture we see that God requires his people to be holy. The Levites were a special tribe of Israel set apart to serve as mediators between God and the people. They offered sacrifices on behalf of the people of Israel. They kept up the Tabernacle and later on the Temple. They were ministers, and they were called to be an example of holiness for the rest of the Israelite tribes.
As the Israelites were entering into Canaan, the land that God had promised to give to them, they would come across foreign rituals and customs that they were not used to seeing. God commanded them to not take part in any of it. They were to be holy; to be set apart. God told them to avoid things like child sacrifice, fortune-telling, sorcery, witchcraft, and consulting psychics or mediums.
Moses then tells the people that God would raise up another prophet like him from among the Israelites.
17 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘What they have said is right. 18 I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him.”
So in our passage today, we see a description of the priests, a call to be holy, and the coming of a True Prophet.
How comforting for us to now know that Moses was referring to Jesus, the True and Better Moses, as the Prophet who would “tell the people everything” the Lord commanded him. Jesus is the Great High Priest, not from the Levites, but from the Order of Melchizedek (Check out Hebrews for more information), and is able to sympathize with us and stands between God and man as our Mediator. Jesus is the True Holy One, who lived a perfect, blameless life here on earth while the Israelites (and us) did not. He died in our place to take our sins upon himself, paying the debt to God that we owed.
I recently heard someone say that everything in the Old Testament isn’t about Jesus, but we need to understand when we read through Deuteronomy, or the Prophets, or the Psalms, or any other Old Testament book that the point is always Jesus.
So ask yourself today: Am I living a holy life in response to the work that Jesus did on my behalf?
Spend some time in prayer today thanking Jesus for being our High Priest, Prophet who revealed to us the Kingdom, and King who lovingly rules over us all and provides for us.
By: Lucas Taylor — West Campus Pastoral Ministry Apprentice