Deut. 18, Psalm 105, Isaiah 45, Revelation 15

DateVersionReading Plan
@June 13, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Deut. 18

Deuteronomy 18:22 (ESV) 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.

Moses told the people that the LORD would raise up a new prophet from among them as they desired of Him at Horeb. Moses addressed the potential question among them as to how they would be able to verify the validity of a true prophet. The test of a true prophet was in whether the word spoken came to pass. The FSB Notes provides additional explanation regarding this criterion:

This criterion means that the truth of a prophet’s words might only be determined over a long time period. But any prophet whose predictions continued to prove accurate would gain credibility over time (see 1 Sam 3:19–20; 9:6). The criterion also suggests that vague signs and omens were insufficient for validation. The words of the prophet had to be sufficiently clear and precise to discern success or failure of the oracle.

Psalm 105

Psalm 105:43–45 (ESV) 43 So he brought his people out with joy, his chosen ones with singing. 44 And he gave them the lands of the nations, and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples’ toil, 45 that they might keep his statutes and observe his laws. Praise the LORD!

The psalmist recounts Israel’s history from the establishment of their covenant with God through their rescue from Egypt and entry into the promised land. All of this culminates in the final verses of the psalm in which we see manner and reason through which it is done. The chosen ones are brought out in joy and singing in order “that they might keep His statutes and observe His laws”. The centerpiece of their deliverance—and our own through the person and work of Christ—is the LORD. The motive behind all divine action is that He would be worshiped, praised and glorified. May we then go forth in everything we do, anchored in the truth that there is no higher aim than the LORD’s supreme exaltation.

Isaiah 45

Isaiah 45:5a, 6, 14 (ESV) 5 I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; … 6 that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other. … 14 They will plead with you, saying: ‘Surely God is in you, and there is no other, no god besides him.’ ”

Multiple times throughout this chapter is God through Isaiah declaring that He alone is God and there is no other. In the same way the foreign nations of Isaiah’s time came to know this, so will the whole of mankind throughout history. There is none besides Him because He is Lord of all and shares with no one His office of divine superintendence. To this truth, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall swear allegiance. In Him only are the faithful justified and thus shall glory.

Revelation 15

Revelation 15:3–4 (ESV) 3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! 4 Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

The song of Moses continues in the overarching theme among today’s readings, namely of God’s greatness and holiness. The FSB Notes makes an interesting observation in how this song of Moses echoes what the people sang after their exodus from Egypt:

After crossing the Red Sea, the people of Israel stood on the shore and sang with Moses of God’s deliverance (see Rev 15:3; Exod 14:30–15:22). This allusion indicates that God’s final deliverance of His people and judgment against their enemies will resemble the exodus event. While the deliverance and judgment at the exodus were incredible, the events in Rev 15 and Rev 16 will be even more overwhelming.

Carson on Deuteronomy 18

Moses reminds the Israelites of the essentially mediatorial role of the prophet (Deut. 18:16-17). Of course, this is true at a fairly trite level: genuine prophets reveal words from God that would otherwise be unknown, and thus mediate between God and people. But Moses refers to something more profound. When God displayed himself at Sinai, the people were so terrified that they knew they dared not approach this holy God: they would be destroyed (Ex. 20:18-19). The people wanted Moses to be the mediator of the revelation from God. God praises them for this judgment, this right-minded fear of God (Deut. 18:17). In the same way, God will raise up another prophet who will exercise the same mediating function.

This is noteworthy observation by Carson in that the people responded in such fear and reverence to God at Sinai that they wanted Moses to be the mediator between God and themselves. God expresses His approval and demonstrates His grace toward the people in appointing a prophet from among them. This prophetic and mediatorial role carried out by Moses and his successor foreshadows the coming of Christ as the Most High Prophet and Mediator.