Do you ever ask God for one thing and you’re baffled when you get something else, entirely different? I know. Me too. It might take a long time to understand that God knew what he was doing, but God said, “Trust me on this. I’m doing what is best for you,” he meant it. (2 Corinthians 8:10) The Israelites must have been baffled when they said, “God we need a king the the other nations.” And God said, “You know what? I’m going to do better than that!
The Advent scripture for today is Deuteronomy 18:15-19. Here’s some background that pieces together the topic. We’ve heard the story hundreds of times so we understand that Jesus is God’s son and that he was sent to Earth as the Messiah. In this passage Moses is trying to convince the Israelites that God promised to send a prophet so there was no need for other kings, prophets or soothsayers because His son Jesus would be all his people would need. God said, “I’m going to send a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. He’s going to look like an ordinary baby, but He is just what you need!” (Isaiah 9:6) And the King was born, as a baby, in a manager, to common people who had to pay taxes just like everyone else. Can you imagine their shock and doubt? How would a baby be all they needed? Instead of a strong man with Mensa level intelligence, decked out in gold bracelets and gilded crown, God sent a helpless, naked baby, born to commoner parents. How could this child be the answer to all they needed? Many years later, in Luke 7:37 Stephan confirmed what Moses said while still in the desert that God was going to send a prophet like him, from their own people. And that’s exactly what happened. Luke 2:4 says Joseph went to Bethlehem because he was originally from that area and belonged to the house and line of David. Then in verse 7 Jesus was born, a boy just like men of the Old Testament.
Just as the promises of God were true then, the promises of God are true today. We still don’t need a prophet or soothsayer to stand in for Him. We have Jesus who is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Jesus is the answer to every need we have. Sometimes we need a Wonderful Counselor, sometimes we need the power of a Mighty God. This is the holiday season, in the midst of all that joy is tension and irascible relationships. We desperately need Jesus the “Prince of Peace”.
Right now, anytime really, we can talk to Mighty God. We don’t have to leave the spot where we are standing to go off in search of another human being whose title is King. We can have a moment of silence wherever we are, “Lord, Everlasting Father, my soul is empty, my spirit is broken, things are not going well down here. You are the Prince of Peace. Please infuse my heart with peace, replace the sadness with joy, and give me confidence to share it with others.”
Deuteronomy 18:15-19 (from The Message translation)
15-16 God, your God, is going to raise up a prophet for you. God will raise him up from among your kinsmen, a prophet like me. Listen obediently to him. This is what you asked God, your God, for at Horeb on the day you were all gathered at the mountain and said, “We can’t hear any more from God, our God; we can’t stand seeing any more fire. We’ll die!”
17-19 And God said to me, “They’re right; they’ve spoken the truth. I’ll raise up for them a prophet like you from their kinsmen. I’ll tell him what to say and he will pass on to them everything I command him. And anyone who won’t listen to my words spoken by him, I will personally hold responsible.