-The portion of the Levites, who were the God ordained priests in the nation of Israel, is covered here in chapter 18. Actually the Levitical line would have no portion or inheritance. They were to eat the LORD’s offerings by fire and have His portion. The LORD was their inheritance as He had promised them. This meant that they had to “give up” their national rights and be consecrated to devoted service in the place that God would choose, which would one day be the Temple in Jerusalem. On the positive side, they would receive the first fruits and best portions of their allotment since they were selected to stand and serve in the Name of the LORD forever. They were to share in their portions equally with the exception of what they received from the sale of their fathers’ estates (Deuteronomy 18:1-8). Therefore, we see that the Levites were dependent on the good will and obedience of the people of Israel for their well-being as a command of God.
-Then, the interesting issue of spiritism and prophets within the burgeoning people group is extrapolated. Moses, through the power of the Holy Spirit commands that they never learn to imitate the detestable things of the nations that that are going in to dispossess. These occultic practices had their children being sacrificed by fire (research the pagan practices to gods like Molech), were using divination, witchcraft, interpreting omens, and using sorcerers, spell casters, mediums, spiritists, and those calling up the spirits of the dead (Deuteronomy 18:9-12). God wanted His people to be “blameless” before the LORD their God. They were NOT allowed to listen to these demonic voices in their holy society. God was angry with the pagan cultures and was now driving them out to cut out for Himself a separated people of truth, kindness, and justice (Deuteronomy 18:13-14). The LORD then promised them that He would raise up a prophet like Moses from amidst their countrymen for them to listen to as having a word directly from the LORD. This was simply in accordance to what they had begged for from God in Horeb (Mt. Sinai) on the day of the assembly. The LORD’s Voice and His great fire had been too frightening for them to handle, which the LORD thought to be commendable. Therefore, His method of distribution for His edicts and corrections would come through human means, namely the prophets from the nation of Israel. He would put His word in their mouths to speak the unadulterated commands of the Living God. Those not listening to His Voice through the prophets would be held accountable unto Him. Further, those who presumptuously spoke in the Name of the LORD as false prophets or in the name of other gods should face capital punishment (Deuteronomy 18:15-20). The LORD anticipated the inevitable question that would come up among His people, “How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?” The answer was this, “When a prophet speaks in the Name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).” Prophets therefore had to be 100% accurate. Any deviation from this was a serious flaw for obvious reasons.
-*Application* Our current society in America is inundated with paganistic rituals and teachings. Yesterday I went to make a hospital visit and was surprised to meet the chaplain. As we introduced ourselves I came to find out that she was a Buddhist practitioner who believed in and prayed to all the gods equally. This is heresy in a Roman Catholic affiliated hospital. Why are we not mortified? Will not God judge this nation like all the rest who go against Him and His righteous ways? We have learned to imitate the detestable things of false faith systems. If we do not turn around, we are doomed. I’m pretty sure this is a direct word from the LORD.
Verse to Memorize: Deuteronomy 18:13, 22