Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 18/Chapter 18

We continue the journey of exploring Deuteronomy. You can see that God is forming a people who are different and distinct from every other nation around them. He is trying to do something special with Israel. Here are some observations over chapter 18.

Chapter 18 observations
(1-8) This section focuses on the Levites, also known as God’s ministers. God has given this group, this whole tribe, no inheritance in Israel (I’m thinking that is referring to land?). God is their inheritance (v.2). They have to rely upon others completely. They eat of the offerings of the people. The offerings the Israelites bring to the place where God dwells (Tabernacle/Temple) are shared with them.

(9-13) God again informs the Israelites of how He does not want them to copy the “detestable” practices of the other nations. They are called to be different and set apart. God wants His people to be blameless. What are the other nations doing that is so bad? They are practicing magic, sacrificing their children in fire, casting spells, and talking to the dead (vv.10-11). These things take the Israelites focus off God.

(14-22) In this section we talk a little about prophets. Apparently the Israelites wanted a man to speak God’s message to them instead of God Himself (v.16). We have one of the marks of a true prophet given here; what he speaks must take place in order for him to be a true prophet of God. Obviously, there would have to be more to the test than this. You have to take into account the warnings given in chapter 13 about prophets.