Today you should read: Deuteronomy 18
There are three main issues dealt with in Deuteronomy 18, and they are each unique. The first concerns the treatment of those in primary spiritual leadership roles for Israel. The second: the holiness of Israel and why the Israelites must avoid the practices of the people of other nations. The third is regarding the coming prophets as well as the Final Prophet. Let’s glean some insights from each.
1) The Care of the Religious Leadership.
Those that labored in full-time vocational ministry — the Levitical Priests — set themselves apart, and they were to be treated differently. The Lord wanted these men to be respected so they had to remain respectable in their dealings. They were not supposed to worry about their financial situations. The people were to take care of their needs so they could focus on ministering. Their worth wasn’t to be found in money or things but in the Lord; He was their inheritance.
These are principles that need to be applied to those in ministry today. Paul addresses this a number of times. The church must take care of those who labor in preaching/teaching/shepherding. Those who labor as such need to be respectable and above reproach so that they are worthy of such care by God’s people. Since many in full-time ministry were not/are not wealthy, they must, above all things, remember that God Himself is their inheritance.
2) The Holiness of Israel.
The people of Israel were not supposed to adopt another people’s customs or adapt to their religious practices. They Lord called them to be set apart. Living a holy life would remind them of their God as well as point others to Him. The Lord is clear in this passage. If they adopt/adapt, they would be in blatant sin. It seems like they missed this boat a few times. Idol worship is a big no-no. “You shall be blameless before the Lord your God…” (v.13).
The Lord expects this of us today as well. We are to be in the world but not of the world (John 17). Church, let’s fight to remember these words from 1 Peter 2: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
3) The Lord’s Prophets.
God raised up Moses to lead the people of Israel for a season, but more prophets had to come. These men of God would give important messages from the Lord, many of which foretold of the coming Christ. The people of Israel needed to recognize these prophets, test them, and obey the hard words they would give. There would be One who would come, though, who would be a final prophet for them and for the world. His message and promise is eternal. This Prophet would lay His life down for His people after giving them countless life-giving, truth-saturated teachings. His name is Jesus Christ.
What did you learn today? What has God been teaching you throughout Deuteronomy.
Posted Todd Thomas