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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, December 3, 2019  

Today’s Scripture Reading | Deuteronomy 18:15–18

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. This is what you requested of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: “If I hear the voice of the Lord my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die.” Then the Lord replied to me: “They are right in what they have said. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. (NRSV)

What would your reaction be if you heard a prophecy like this? My first thought would be, “Thanks, Moses, really appreciate the clarity here! Be a little more vague next time.” I wouldn’t have a clue that Moses was foretelling a messiah that would come in roughly 1,400 years.

But maybe that vagueness was the point. The Israelites who had just left Egypt would have many prophets speaking God’s truth into the world over the following centuries. I like to think that God wasn’t promising just one prophet; God was prompting the Israelites to be listening for God’s word in all parts of their lives and in their community.

Maybe our twenty-first century life of faith is similar. We have been promised that Christ will return at one point, but in the meantime God’s work in this world continues.

I often find that it’s easy to miss these prophets, even though they’re around us every day. I get busy or make judgments about who is an acceptable vessel for God’s word. And when that happens, God finds a way to get my attention and shake me from that attitude. Ultimately, this passage reminds me that we must be open and humble to accept God’s word wherever we may find it.

Lord, help my heart be open to your words and commands. Help me listen for your voice in every part of this world, and give me the strength and courage to live your grace and truth through my words and deeds. Amen.

Written by Jared Light, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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