Deuteronomy 18:15-22 (Part 1) – Hope is The Christian’s Background Operating System

Posted: February 24, 2017 in 99-Uncategorized

Deuteronomy 18:15-22 (Part 1)

True and False Prophets

When you look back at your life, your eyesight gets better. As the old saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20.” When you are going through stuff in your life, you don’t realize that there is an overarching plan that God is playing out in your life. But years after events have occurred, you realize that it was not some random sets of circumstances. God really did have a plan for your life. It is in these times of analysis that you see the plan of God and it starts to give you more trust in Him. The more mature you become in Christ the more you begin to trust the Lord and see the patterns that He is developing in your life. There becomes this growing trust, even as you face forward to the future, that He has a plan and we must trust.


Easier said than done when you are going through the present some times. However, as you mature in Christ, there is that basic trust and hope that operates in the background like an operating system of a computer. It’s just there doing its thing in the background that is necessary for continued hope. As we walk through the present, you wonder though even though that basic hope is operating in the background. This week has been a difficult one from a sheer volume of work thing. At my regular job at Fujikura America, we have been wrapping up the budgeting process for the new fiscal year that begins on April 1, 2017. That workload is already on top of my regular daily, weekly, and monthly duties. Those last week of the budget process revisions can consume a lot of time. You are revising things that took a whole month to build up that now must be done in several hours. Then, add on top of that, because of poor planning on my part and just having too busy of a schedule in my personal life, I had to write a 20-page research paper for my spiritual leadership class as part of the first semester of my doctoral program.


It is during this week that I have had to question the fact that I have three jobs now and not just two. I have my regular secular job at Fujikura, my church job at LifeSong, and my doctoral studies. Add to that, I am a small group leader/teacher. It is during the last few weeks that I have had to say that my plate is full. About two weeks ago, we gave up our small group as a way to reduce the food that was on my plate. Now, I am wrestling with giving up working at the church two mornings a week because I need every moment not spoken for by my regular job for my doctoral studies. There is this feeling that I have accomplished what I needed to accomplish at church in the financial side of things. The systems established are working smoothly now. Bonnie, the financial manager, has been trained up to be a pretty good little accountant now. I feel that she no longer needs as much supervision as much as she needs a subordinate to help her. Sometimes, in life, we must recognize when our job is done. That has been a tough realization because I enjoy working there. But it really is time to let the church use the part-time salary that they pay me and instead use it to hire some help for Bonnie. I feel as though that I need to return to supporting the financial/administrative part of the business from a volunteer status again and not be there every day. I will not stop that but being there every day and using payroll dollars that could be used for day to day filing duties and receptionist duties is what Bonnie needs now and not as much me in a supervisory role.


As I struggled with this research paper during every available moment of the past week in addition to the heavy burden at work at the same time and thinking of giving things up to create space, I wonder why I took on this doctoral program. Why did I take it on? It is creating wholesale changes in my routine for the past several years. Why is that? Am I just kidding myself or is this a God-calling thing that I am doing. Some might see it as silly for a man who is an accomplished financial accountant to be doing this. I have gone after a master’s degree in Christian ministry and now am pursuing a doctorate in ministry when I am not even employed full-time in ministry yet (and wondering if I ever will be). Is this a calling or is this just wanting a significant new challenge for no apparent reason other than the accomplishment? Those are the doubts that I am struggling with right now.


That sometimes we have doubts about what we are doing and what it all means is what I thought of this morning as I read this passage, Deuteronomy 18:15-22, for the first of two reviews of it, and its mentioning of the raising up of a prophet like Moses from the Israelites. Let’s read it now:


15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. 16 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.”


17 The Lord said to me: “What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. 20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”


21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” 22 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, so do not be alarmed.


Who is this prophet that Moses speaks of? Stephen used Deuteronomy 18:15 to support his claim that Jesus was God’s Son, the Messiah, in Acts 7:37. This passage is proof that the coming of Jesus Christ to the earth was not some recalibration or reconfiguring of God’s plan by God. It was part of the plan from the beginning of time to send Jesus Christ at the very time in history that He was sent. Jesus’ coming to earth to live among us, to preach, teach, and lead us, and then to die for us to redeem us from our sins, and then to give us eternal victory over sin and death through His resurrection was the plan from the beginning of time. The Trinity of God (the pre-existent unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) knew this was the plan when they created time and this temporal plane on which we humans exist. God knew how it was all going to play out from the Garden of Eden to the as yet accomplished end times noted in Revelation. God’s got a plan.


God does have an overall, overarching plan for humanity and for the earth and for time itself but He also has a plan for you and me. Even when things seem to be changing and out of control, He’s got a plan for you and for me. When you are making choices that seem silly to others but are part of what you believe to be the calling on your life from God, He’s got a plan for it all. When you have to make critical choices in life, God’s got a plan. When you do not know what the result is going to be, God’s got a plan. When you are not sure, God’s got a plan. When you question and doubt, God’s got a plan. When you don’t know what to do, God’s got a plan. When you feel called to radical change, God’s got a plan.


We must trust Him. We must have hope in Him. He is God after all. He had a redemptive plan for all humanity from since before time began so we must trust He has a plan for us. It may not be obvious right now, but we gotta trust Him. We need that background hope in Him always. We need that hope to be our background operating system no matter what programs are playing out on the stage of our lives. We must have that operating system of hope and trust in the Lord.  Amen and Amen.

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