What Does Deuteronomy 18:15 Mean?

"The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.

Deuteronomy 18:15(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

The book of Deuteronomy reiterates the Law of Moses to a new generation of Israelites who were soon to enter the promised land following their long, 40-year wanderings in the wilderness.

God knew that the abominable practices of the Canaanites would tempt His people to engage in idolatry and other detestable practices. And so, in this eighteenth chapter of Deuteronomy, the Lord forbids His people from engaging in all aspects of occultic trickery, including witchcraft, soothsayers, fortune-telling, conjurers, spirit mediums, séances, and necromancy.

The sinister reality of Satanism and the bewitching fascination with occult practices is equally problematic today as it was in the dim and distant days, when Israel was preparing to cross the Jordan River.

Paul and the other apostles give similar such warnings to those of us in this church age - beware of sorcery. We read in Galatians that the deeds of the flesh are evident which are, "immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these," about which Paul forewarn us - that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Moses was the prophetic voice through whom the Word of the Lord came to the people of Israel. For over 40 years the Lord had spoken through this one man, and God knew that the people would search for an alternative mediator after his departure... and he even warned them against looking in the wrong places.

The Lord assured the people that God Himself would raise up a continuous line of seers and prophets, who would speak His words to them. They were also warned that false prophets would arise who would speak their own lying words to the people, but explained that the identifying mark of a true prophet of God, is that their prophetic word would always be fulfilled.

In this verse, and also in stark contrast to the list of occultic practices and satanic pretenders whom Israel would encounter in the promised land, God presents a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ - the one, true Prophet of God, Who would be raised up from the nation of Israel, "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me," Moses told them."This prophet will come from among you. He will be raised up from your countrymen and you shall listen to him."

Other scriptures inform us that this coming Prophet Who would speak only the Word of the Lord, would arise from the Seed of Abraham, through Isaac, his sons of promise, and Israel - God's chosen people. The Prophet who would be like Moses, would come from the house of Judah and be born in the royal line of King David.

Moses painted a prophetic picture of the Messiah. He gave Israel some clear, distinguishing marks of their coming Prophet, so that He would be clearly identified when He arrived, "God will raise up for you a prophet like me," were Moses' encouraging words, "and he will come from among you, from your countrymen." Moses also gave Israel some important instructions to Israel, "You shall listen to HIM." 

Scripture tells us that, "no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses," but that a time was coming when the Lord God would raise up another Prophet, and today we know Him to be Jesus - the Lord's anointed Prophet, Priest, and King of Israel.

Moses spoke of the Lord Jesus, Who would be the ultimate Prophet, through Whom God would speak His words of salvation. In the same way that Moses was the first and most important prophet, who brought His people out of the land of Egypt... and through whom God spoke during their long history, so the coming Prophet would be fulfilment of God's plan of redemption. He would save His people from their sin and restore to them the joy of their salvation.

This coming Prophet would enjoy such intimacy with God that He would not say or do anything by His own initiative. This great Prophet would speak only those things that He heard from His Father in heaven. This anointed Prophet of God would be unique in the history of the world. He would be obedient to His Father's instructions - even to the point of death on the Cross. YES, this coming Prophet was the Lord JESUS Himself, fully God and fully man.

There would be many future prophets in Israel who would faithfully speak the Word of the Lord and follow the footsteps of Moses, including those who penned the New Testament. But when Christ, the ultimate Prophet would arrive, He would be the One and only Mediator of a new and better covenant - a covenant that was cut at Calvary, through His Own shed blood - a covenant that will be fully and finally ratified when He returns as King of kings and Lord of lords.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the witness of Your Word and the wonderful truths it contains. Thank You that You have told us the end from the beginning through many prophets who, like Moses, faithfully spoke the Word of the Lord. Thank You for Jesus Who came to earth as the ultimate Prophet, Priest, and King. Thank You that He is the living Word, Who only spoke those things that He heard from You, and thank You for the written Word, which instructs us in godly living, and provides all we need to live godly in Christ Jesus. Give me wisdom and grace to discern and identify the many false prophets that have entered Christendom, and I pray that in the power of the indwelling Spirit of God that I would become a true witness to Your Word, and that Christ may be glorified in me. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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