The Word for today:
Deuteronomy 20, 21
Deuteronomy has a lot to say about prophets. First, it tells us about the qualifications of…
A prophet. A prophet had to speak into a local, immediate situation to prove he is a true prophet of God:
You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)
Then Deuteronomy tells us about one to come who will be, in word and deed, indistinguishable from God's Word. This prophet is not just a prophet, but...
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. (Deuteronomy 18:18-19)
***All of this talk of prophets puts me in the mood to prophesy. So…let's prophesy!
You, too, can be a prophet. It's fun, fulfilling, and will amaze your friends! How (you might ask) can I prophesy? Well, it's easy, because God's character is its own prophecy:
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
The future will correspond to God's character. Therefore, if you know Jesus, you can foretell the future.
As an illustration, let's pick something the Bible doesn't really tell us a lot about…
To think that the God whose Spirit brooded over the universe before He conceived it, then let there be light, then created the beauty that was Eve, imbued her with moral freedom with all its inherent risks;
Who floated an ark, wrestled with Jacob, foretold the sacrifice of himself by the sacrifice of Isaac and by the illustration of the altar of the tabernacle;
Who gave an ass a voice, a lion's courage to Caleb, unquenchable integrity to Joshua;
Who put up with Samson, made something out of Gideon, watched Boaz fall all over himself the first time he saw Ruth;
Who spoke to Job out of the whirlwind, to Elijah in a still small voice;
Who guided the stone slung by the shepherd who would be king;
Who watched that king fall under the weight of sin and get up again, and then again, and then once more;
Who leadeth me beside the still waters;
by whose stripes we are healed;
Who wrote on the wall, gave Jonah another chance, questioned the scholars about his Father's business;
Who healed the sick, raised the dead, and calmed the storm;
Who directed that the last shall be first, that blessed are the poor in spirit, that he without sin should throw first;
Who suffered the little children, delighted in their praises, called a rock his pillow, and walked on the sea;
Who called out the hypocrites, chased out the moneychangers, told Satan to get behind him, and told Matthew, Follow me;
Who set is face like a flint for Jerusalem, there to be about his Father's business again, now as a man to settle the questions he'd astonished them with as a boy;
Who, crowned with thorns, a King under the weight of sin, fell, then got up again, and then again, and then once more in ascendancy…
To think that God, who is the power, glory, poetry, and miracle behind Scripture, and has gone to prepare his bride a home, would bring her into the kind of static, inert heaven which many imagine-- is out of God's character.
Rest assured that God, who never changes, will forever surpass the extent of your imagination. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever" does not mean same old, same old. It means wild, unpredictable, unquenchable, uncontrollable, undeniable, and forever free.
So get to know him and prophesy away! The future will be a reflection of his character.