Deuteronomy 18 & Psalm 105

Deuteronomy 18

    “The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the LORD's food offerings as their inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them. And this shall be the priests' due from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, whether an ox or a sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. The firstfruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. For the LORD your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for all time.

    “And if a Levite comes from any of your towns out of all Israel, where he lives—and he may come when he desires—to the place that the LORD will choose, and ministers in the name of the LORD his God, like all his fellow Levites who stand to minister there before the LORD, then he may have equal portions to eat, besides what he receives from the sale of his patrimony.

    “When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this.

    “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And the LORD said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’—when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

(Deuteronomy 18 ESV)


Psalm 105

    Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;
        make known his deeds among the peoples!
    Sing to him, sing praises to him;
        tell of all his wondrous works!
    Glory in his holy name;
        let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
    Seek the LORD and his strength;
        seek his presence continually!
    Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
        his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
    O offspring of Abraham, his servant,
        children of Jacob, his chosen ones!
    
    He is the LORD our God;
        his judgments are in all the earth.
    He remembers his covenant forever,
        the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
    the covenant that he made with Abraham,
        his sworn promise to Isaac,
    which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
        to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
    saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
        as your portion for an inheritance.”
    
    When they were few in number,
        of little account, and sojourners in it,
    wandering from nation to nation,
        from one kingdom to another people,
    he allowed no one to oppress them;
        he rebuked kings on their account,
    saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
        do my prophets no harm!”
    
    When he summoned a famine on the land
        and broke all supply of bread,
    he had sent a man ahead of them,
        Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
    His feet were hurt with fetters;
        his neck was put in a collar of iron;
    until what he had said came to pass,
        the word of the LORD tested him.
    The king sent and released him;
        the ruler of the peoples set him free;
    he made him lord of his house
        and ruler of all his possessions,
    to bind his princes at his pleasure
        and to teach his elders wisdom.
    
    Then Israel came to Egypt;
        Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
    And the LORD made his people very fruitful
        and made them stronger than their foes.
    He turned their hearts to hate his people,
        to deal craftily with his servants.
    
    He sent Moses, his servant,
        and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
    They performed his signs among them
        and miracles in the land of Ham.
    He sent darkness, and made the land dark;
        they did not rebel against his words.
    He turned their waters into blood
        and caused their fish to die.
    Their land swarmed with frogs,
        even in the chambers of their kings.
    He spoke, and there came swarms of flies,
        and gnats throughout their country.
    He gave them hail for rain,
        and fiery lightning bolts through their land.
    He struck down their vines and fig trees,
        and shattered the trees of their country.
    He spoke, and the locusts came,
        young locusts without number,
    which devoured all the vegetation in their land
        and ate up the fruit of their ground.
    He struck down all the firstborn in their land,
        the firstfruits of all their strength.
    
    Then he brought out Israel with silver and gold,
        and there was none among his tribes who stumbled.
    Egypt was glad when they departed,
        for dread of them had fallen upon it.
    
    He spread a cloud for a covering,
        and fire to give light by night.
    They asked, and he brought quail,
        and gave them bread from heaven in abundance.
    He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
        it flowed through the desert like a river.
    For he remembered his holy promise,
        and Abraham, his servant.
    
    So he brought his people out with joy,
        his chosen ones with singing.
    And he gave them the lands of the nations,
        and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples' toil,
    that they might keep his statutes
        and observe his laws.
    Praise the LORD!

(Psalm 105 ESV)


Something to Consider

Deuteronomy 18: God's people are to only seek spiritual counsel and revelation from those whom God appoints to speak and minister on His behalf. Strict warnings are given against seeking alternate forms of spiritual counsel, and strong consequences are issued to those who participate in or practice such 'abominations'.

God promises Israel that He will "raise up" prophets that will be given the authority to speak on His behalf and for the benefit of His people. God promises a future and final prophet like Moses who we now know is Christ our Lord who not only spoke the words of God but is the very Word of God in human form. Spiritual counsel, revelation and experience is to be sought and found in the One "raised up" to make God more clearly and fully known than any prophet ever before Him.

Moses said, 'The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.' And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.' God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness." (Acts 3)

Christ is the promised future prophet and the final Word of God. Today, we are to seek spiritual counsel from the very words of Christ as spoken by Himself and through His appointed apostles. Therefore, those who minister to our hearts and provide us with spiritual counsel must do so in accordance with Scripture which is the inspired and affirmed words of God Himself. 

We ought to be careful of seeking 'spiritual experiences' that are not motivated by the reading, hearing and speaking of God's Word. Spiritual experiences that aren't rooted in Scripture can be deceptively dangerous and may have condemning consequences.