Reflection on Deuteronomy?
Every couple of years my church asks me to write something for their Daily Devotions. When the request appeared in my inbox this year, it included the assignment list for the Advent writers. I sent a note to Pastor Rocky, “You get Mark and I get Deuteronomy?”
I’m not sure I have a favorite book in the Old Testament, but I am sure I have a least favorite—Deuteronomy. It has always seemed to me that this book is reserved for scholars; we lay people aren’t supposed to know its secrets.
Deuteronomy 18:15-18: The Lord your God will raise up a prophet like me from your community, from our fellow Israelites. He’s the one you must listen to. That’s exactly what you requested from the Lord your God at Horeb, on the day of the assembly, when you said, “I can’t listen to the Lord my God’s voice any more or look at this great fire any longer. I don’t want to die!” The Lord said to me: What they’ve said is right. I’ll raise up a prophet for them from among their fellow Israelites—one just like you. I’ll put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.
Reflection. There’s no secret in this passage. Moses tells us we are getting what we asked for, someone we can talk to, who knows what it is to love and suffer and be happy and sad. He’ll be human, a Jew and a Prophet, like Moses. And when He comes, we can trust His words because He’ll be speaking for God.
Watch out if you see a prophet coming your way. They’re not foretellers of the future. They are truthtellers of the present, who expose hidden gracelessness. Jesus is God’s Truthteller. He digs into my dry bones and pulls out the person He wants me to be. I want to be that person too. Sometimes. I often hide from the truth—fearing ridicule and silent scorn because my greatest obsession is to be normal and to fit in.
God’s Truthteller came in the form of a sassy teenager recently: “you think you’re so privileged.” she said when my wrinkled old mouth asked for her seat on the bus. God’s Truthteller told me to love her, to be a Christian, to trust Him with her words.
Prayer. Thank you God, for sending me your Truthteller, a baby I can cherish, a man I can believe, and a friend I can trust. Expose the flimflam thoughts I tell myself and give me courage to have a life of truth and grace.
See more Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church Chicago here.
3 thoughts on “Deut. T-Deut. T-Deut. Deut. Deuteronomy”
Thanks for gifting us with these words, Regan. I’m relating to them lately … too much, and wondering if those instructions from self-help gurus … to “set your own boundaries and make them known” … may be the words of false prophets. “Expose the flim-flam thoughts I tell myself and give me courage to have a life of truth and grace,” is no doubt the better option, and gloriously stated. But knowing myself I wonder, can that lead to feelings of self-righteousness?
I also think that life is all yang and yin. Learn to love the questions, says RR, and we will eventually outgrow them. Thanks for the gentle nudge into much helpful introspection, Regan.
If you know that about yourself, won’t it help you avert attention from it? What a wonderful comment to receive, my dear friend.
Never thought of prophets that way, and I like your definition: they are truthtellers of the present.