On the Plains of Moab Blog
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June 13, 2011, 7:53 PM

The Night After

Yesterday, we considered that great passage in Deut. 18:15 concerning the rise of a prophet like Moses.  If there is one thing I like to point out concerning Old Testament prophecies, it is this:  A prophecy may at times have an unfolding fulfillment until it reaches its ultimate fulfillment.  In our case yesterday, there were many steps along the way to fulfillment.  Many worthy, faithful prophets rose up along the way in fulfilling this prophecy at various stages of Israel's rise and decline in the Land.  Even still, even still, as I pointed out yesterday, many of the faithful yet stored this prophecy in the back of their minds ever looking for the day of the great prophet.

 As for Jesus, he certainly did incredible things during his earthly ministry.  Just as Moses gave the new nation a constitution in the form of the Covenant at Sinai; so Jesus gave us the New Covenant written on the tablet of our hearts by the Holy Spirit.  Just as Moses laid the foundation of a new Kingdom in Israel; so Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom of God that will reach to the far ends of the globe, "world without end."  And yet, for all of the miracles and parables -- still the greatest example of prophecy from Jesus lay in the fact that he was in his person, God incarnate.  When you laid eyes on Jesus, you saw God.  With Jesus in the room, one was ushered into God's presence.  He was (and still is!) the definitive revelation of God.  That is why Moses said, "Listen to him."  That is why the voice on the Mount of Transfiguration said, "Listen to him."  That is why we continue to listen to him.

And speaking of prophets, let me use that as a natural segue to the Pastor's Bible Study on Sunday mornings at 9:45.  We will be talking about this kind of stuff all summer long as we explore the book of Ezekiel.  There are so many things that I don't have time for in the pulpit.  Preaching and teaching are two different, distinct activities.  They do different dances.  The Bible study is an opportunity to grow in your understanding of God's Word -- to see how it all fits together.

Case in point on the necessity of getting to church a little earlier (9:45!) on Sundays, I was reading an article off CNN's website this morning where the author was describing the first year of the site's religious blog.  You may read the article in its entirety here:  10 Things the Belief Blog learned in its first year.  But two items on the list I found a bit ironic and illustrative at the same time....

The first thing, lesson #3:

People are still intensely curious about the Bible, its meaning and its origins.  It's an ancient tome, but more than any other book in the Western tradition (with the Quran being the lone exception), the Bible still fascinates us.  And it still feeds our most heated debates.

Okay, now lesson #4:

Most Americans are religiously illiterate. Despite the appetite for stories and commentary about the Bible, most Americans know little about it.[!]

How can that be?!

See you Sunday morning at 9:45, class.

BONUS  If you would like to test your Bible knowledge (in the prophets and everything else), go here to take the Bible knowledge exam that wannabe Presbyterian ministers have to pass to be ordained.  If you score 70 and above, you may consider yourself clepped out of the Bible Study.  Have fun.  Oh yeah, see you Sunday morning, early.


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