Deuteronomy 18 Commentary
Taking care of priests (ministers), whose job is it? I guess your answer is as good as mine. This chapter gives us an answer. I cannot believe it but I actually failed this simple exam.
The Levites will not receive their share of land. The sanctuary system will sustain them via the various food offerings made to the LORD. It would appear like Levi is getting paid for services at the Sanctuary. The reality however is that the LORD is generously sharing with Levi at the Sanctuary.
The thought that the LORD is Levi’s inheritance is interesting. The LORD is speaking to a community that understood exactly what this meant. The saint today may want to reflect on this fact and reconsider their opinion on their offerings. It calls for a sense of duty to understand that my giving is sustaining a life of a minister. I’m doing God’s work! I’m doing what the LORD should be doing. That is the required understanding of the term ‘doing God’s work’. There is a blessing attached to it.
Israel is to remain separate from the evil practices of the nations whose land they are about to inherit. It’s a reminder for the saint to stay separate – embracing the values of the kingdom whose king and head is Christ. Occult practices such as sorcery, together with its associates, are singled out for mention.
Again a look at life today reveals a much more complicated host of occult practices that the saint should notice and avoid completely. Reading of stars and the whole host of astrological applications are modern occult practices. It’s a powerful trend that makes pastors want to prophecy in the same manner as pagan astrologists.
Moses looks to the future and speaks about another prophet. Israel would be privileged to host another prophet in the manner of Moses. The only prophet meeting this description is the LORD Jesus Christ. Other great prophets like Elijah and Isaiah pointed to the Christ and not themselves. The Christ had to be born of man to satisfy Israel’s demand for a human representative. They had indicated to Moses at Horeb that the LORD’S presence was too much for their comfort.
Again you want to understand Moses’ thought here. He wasn’t thinking of a prophetic office. There wasn’t one. It depended on the LORD’S call and timing. For sure Joshua wasn’t that prophet. There still remained this vacancy. The LORD filled this space temporarily – in time and space, to warm the office until the real prophet would arrive. And each of the office warmers pointed to the real office bearer who the LORD would send. It is a privilege to live in a time when we can look at all these things and see them in their right context.
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