To Him You Shall Listen

Brian Mahon - 4/30/2023


Call to worship: Luke 9:28-36

Text: Deuteronomy 18:9-22


Summary: Preparatory for life in a new land as God's peculiar people, God, by Moses, forewarns them to be careful to what they listen. In obedience to God, as Adam, Israel is to lend their ears to the Word of God, according to its origin and authority. In light of this, and with Moses on his way out, God promises an Israelite Prophet like Moses. To Him, they are to listen. Due to their sinful state, He'll be a mediatorial Voice. In listening to Him, they will not die, but live, as He will speak nothing but the Word of God. Anyone rejecting Him, rejects God, and will not go unpunished. Of course, where God has His Word, the serpent has his snakes. The people must be prepared to discern God's truth from the devil's error as they await the Christ. As a deterrent, speaking lies in God's Name is punishable by death. The sacred desk is a serious matter. Israel is then given a couple ways to discern erroneous, insubstantial 'wind-bags.' The text offers a handful of marks for true prophets (and preachers) of God. It's not until the advent of Christ, and His baptism and transfiguration specifically, that the prophetic testimony comes full, and God Himself confirms Jesus to be the One to Whom we must listen. All the prophets point to Him.

Sermon Outline:

    1: Godly living demands listening to God. (18:9-14)
    2: God has spoken by His prophets---and One above all. (18:15-19)
    a: Moses gives way to Him. (18:15)
    b: He's the Way to Life. (18:16-18a)
    c: He speaks God's Word. (18:18b)
    d: To reject His words is to invite God's judgment. (18:19)
    3: Godly listening demands spiritual discernment. (18:20-22)


Discussion Questions:

  1. 1: Read Deuteronomy 18:9-22.
  2. What is the immediate situation for which Moses is preparing Israel (18:9)? What is there to fear? If not the nations' armies, then what? In the people of Israel, what is God after (18:10-14)? How does living relate to listening---or to what we afford the allegiance of our hearts?
  3. Israel is to listen to the Word of God. After telling them what not to listen to, what instruction does Moses give (18:15)? In giving it, what gracious promise does Moses reveal? If Moses is to give way to this Prophet, what of all the other prophets in between? What happened at Horeb? Why would they have been unable to endure the Word of God at that time? Why does the Lord say they're right in their desire?
  4. What are the textual distinctives of this Prophet? Think: raised up by Whom? A Prophet like whom? How does He relate to life and death for sinners? What of His humanity and ethnicity? What of His ministry (18:18b)? Can we reject His words without divine accountability and penalty? Who is this Prophet? Consider Luke 9:28-36, Hebrews 1:1-3, John 1:14-18.
  5. 5: As this is a future promise, what about (from the text's point of view) the present ministry of God's Word to His people? The advent of Christ is far off. What can the people expect while they wait (18:20)? How does God try to deter those who would take the prophetic mantle upon themselves? What does the reality of anti-Word prophets necessitate for God's people? How does this text (and the rest of the Bible) fine-tune our ears to discern what's true to God and what is not, what differentiates the Rock of God from wind-bags? By whom do God's prophets speak, and about Whom (see John 5:39-47; 1 Peter 1:10-12).
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