Advent Devotion for December 9
In lighting the candle, the candle lighter says: “I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites.”
SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 18:15-22
15 Moses continued, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. 16 For this is what you yourselves requested of the Lord your God when you were assembled at Mount Sinai. You said, ‘Don’t let us hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore or see this blazing fire, for we will die.’
17 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘What they have said is right. 18 I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him. 19 I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf. 20 But any prophet who falsely claims to speak in my name or who speaks in the name of another god must die.’
21 “But you may wonder, ‘How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord?’ 22 If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared.
SCRIPTURE: John 6:14-1
14 When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” 15 When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.
MUSIC: I Wonder as I Wander - arr. John Rutter (YouTube)
SOME THOUGHTS: Every once in awhile, someone comes along proclaiming the end of the world. At other times you and I have known people who have claimed that God gave them a vision or told them about something that was yet to occur. How can you tell if an individual has a prophetic gift or a vision from God? The Israelites had the same question and Moses provided the answer in the passage you just read. Put clearly, a true prophet of God is never wrong about anything, ever. One incorrect prediction and your career as a prophet of God is over! Hence, the false prophet! (Remember Harold Camping?) In John’s account, Jesus had just miraculously fed probably 10-15,000 people. They quickly recognized that this man was quite possibly THE Prophet the Old Testament had predicted in Deuteronomy and Malachi. Everything he did (miracles) and those things he said, came true. He spoke with authority, unlike their religious leaders. Many of the people, particularly in Jesus’ hometown region of Galilee, knew all the Old Testament Scriptures exceedingly well, so they picked up subtle references. Unfortunately, they assumed conclusions from the prophecies and sought to make Jesus King and overthrow the Romans. However, Jesus was operating on his Father’s time frame, so he slipped away. In Jesus, we have our Prophet, King, and Priest. The season of Advent is about waiting on God’s time as we look for the Return of the Redeeming Savior. As we look forward to the Nativity, so we look forward to his Return.
PRAYER: We bless Thee, O most high God and Lord of mercy, Who art ever doing numberless great and inscrutable things with us, glorious and wonderful; Who grantest to us sleep for rest from our infirmities and repose from the burdens of our much toiling flesh. We thank Thee that Thou hast not destroyed us with our sins, but hast loved us as ever, and though we are sunk in despair, Thou hast raised us up to glorify Thy power. Therefore we implore Thy incomparable goodness, enlighten the eyes of our understanding and raise up our mind from the heavy sleep of indolence; open our mouth and fill it with Thy praise, that we may be able undistracted, to sing and confess Thee, Who art God glorified in all and by all, the eternal Father, with Thy only-begotten Son, and Thy all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
(Second Prayer of St. Basil the Great)
Read more at: http://www.faithandworship.com/early_Christian_prayers.htm#ixzz4JPVqabTu
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution