Deuteronomy 18:15-20 (NRSV)
Verse 15The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. Verse 16This is what you requested of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said: "If I hear the voice of the Lord my God any more, or ever again see this great fire, I will die." Verse 17Then the Lord replied to me: "They are right in what they have said. Verse 18I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command. Verse 19Anyone who does not heed the words that the prophet shall speak in my name, I myself will hold accountable. Verse 20But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak-that prophet shall die."
In the Old Testament, a prophet was one who spoke the word of God to the people for God. It was not so much that a prophet predicted the future. Rather, the prophet reminded the people that God was their God, and they were God’s people. The people had a relationship with God that was life-giving. They knew God promised to always be faithful to them through good times and tough times. But life can be messy and confusing. As the people of Israel are about to enter a new land, they ask how they are to know if a prophet is speaking a word from God? It is a time of hopes and dreams, as well as a time of uncertainty and temptation. A time very much like our own time. Uncertainty and anxiety accompany us on life’s journey even while God’s hand is leading us. That promise is always near in our hearts as God sustains us along our way.
Promising God, help us to trust that you are near and very much at work in our lives and in our world. Amen.