Living UN-presumptuously: Deuteronomy 18:14-22

Reading John Wesley (especially sermons): Scripture seems to permeate every sentence. Little creativity…just wham, bam, Bible verses punctuating every paragraph and, sometimes, every sentence in part or whole.

Illus. Don Church leading Bible studies as we journeyed through communist/Eastern Europe – open the Bible, asking questions to get us deeper in the Word. Athletes huddling all around “Bubba,” hungering to know what the Word was speaking into our lives.

Context: God, through His prophet Moses, is getting the next generation ready to possess the Promised Land. One of the things they will need to discern is how to discern His Voice. It will not come through sorcery or examining entrails or divination or Ouija Boards or horoscopes. It will come through His message sent through someone among them of God’s choosing,

This would mean His voice through many prophets to come in Israel’s coming centuries, especially including the Messiah-to-come, Jesus. In some ways, it includes Christians today, too. What does His witness through us look like?

Live immersed in the Word of the Lord

  • Through the prophets, God came through with His voice. This was before the Law/Prophets/Poetry had been assembled. Now it has been. We know His Word today because we are steeped in it through a daily and intense time in it. Memorize it. Meditate on it.
  • But do we?
  • Prayer/Bible study tips: Psalms, DS prayer guide, Bible reading plan. Memorize verses – Dallas Willard…powerful!

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in the 1820s. She staged a daring escape in 1849, then spent years rescuing hundreds out of slavery and leading them to safety. Her code name was Moses, because she never lost a single escapee.
A devout follower of Christ, Tubman spent much time learning, memorizing, and meditating on various verses in the Bible, such as her beloved Isaiah 16:3: “Hide the fugitives, do not betray the refugees.” As she pondered the passages, she turned them into prayers, and in prayer, she learned to practice God’s presence. I” prayed all the time,” she told her biographer, “about my work, everywhere; 1 was always talking to the Lord. When I went to the horse trough to wash my face and took up the water in my hands, I said, ‘Oh, Lord, wash me, make me clean.’ When I took up the towel to wipe my face and hands, I cried, ‘Oh, Lord, for Jesus’ sake, wipe away all my sins!’ When I took up the broom and began to sweep, I groaned, O’ h, Lord, whatsoever sin there be in my heart, sweep it out, Lord, clear and clean.'” Source: Robert J. Morgan, Moments of Reflection: Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation (Thomas Nelson, 2017), pages 1-2

What your life prophesies, should be the unvarnished Logos

  • John 1- “Word” =Logos (Gk.)
  • The “Word become flesh” (Jn. 1:14) means an audio-visual approach.
  • The people who have mattered most in my life were those who spoke relatively little – Mom, Dad, Grandma Zoth, Aunt Aleta.

Presumptuous – the meaning

  • Pride, arrogance (Charles Wesley: Who is this Goliath? – our own besetting Sin)
  • Failure to observe limits (God’s Word)
  • Over-familiar (vs. 61 For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”
  • To speak without justification (you speak, perhaps, because people want you to vs. God wants you to)
  • To speak own words/opinions:
    • John 5:19 – “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing because whatever the Father does, the Son also does.
    • John 12:49-50 – For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken…whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

1 Kings 1:22 – the story of Micaiah (true prophet) and the prophets of presumption (400 of them with one voice)!

Deuteronomy 18:14-22 ESV

14 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.

A New Prophet like Moses

15 “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— 16 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 anymore, lest I die.’ 17 And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 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. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or[a] who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— 22 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.