Dave Burnette's Commentary

Deuteronomy Chapter 18

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses 
Date Penned: (1407 BC)
Overview: To Remind and Rededicate Israel to the Lord (c 1-34)
Theme: Principles for Godly Living (c 5-28)
Message: Offerings for Priests and Levites (v 1-22)

Deuteronomy 18 Commentary

(18:1-8) Duties of Ministers - The priests and Levites served much the same function as our ministers today. Their duties included (1) teaching the people about God, (2) setting an example of godly living, (3) caring for the sanctuary and its workers, and (4) distributing the offerings. Because priests and Levites could not own property or pursue outside business interests, God made special arrangements so that people would not take advantage of them. Often churches, usually unintentionally, take advantage of the men and women God has called to lead them. For example, ministers may not be paid fairly for the skills they offer or the time they put in. Or pastors may be expected to attend every evening meeting, even if their continual absence from home is harmful to their families. As you look at your own church in light of God's Word, can you see ways that you might better honor and protect the leaders God has given you?

(18:10-13) Pagan Practices Forbidden - Child sacrifice and occult practices were strictly forbidden by God. These practices were common among pagan religions. Israel's own neighbors actually sacrificed their children to the god Molech (see Leviticus 20:2-5). Other neighboring religions used supernatural means such as contacting the spirit world to try to foretell the future and gain guidance. Because of these wicked practices, God would drive out the pagan nations. The Israelites were to replace these evil practices with the worship of the one true God. 

(18:10-13) Satan is Behind the Occult - The Israelites were naturally curious about the occult practices of the Canaanite religions. But Satan is behind the occult, and God flatly forbade Israel to have anything to do with it. Today people are still fascinated by horoscopes, fortune-telling, witchcraft, and bizarre cults. Often their interest comes from a desire to know and control the future. But Satan is no less dangerous today than he was in Moses' time, and God commands us to completely avoid these practices. In the Bible, God tells us all we need to know about what is going to happen. The information Satan offers is likely to be distorted or completely false and will do us harm. With the trustworthy guidance of the Holy Spirit through the Bible and the church, we don't need to turn to occult sources for help or information.

(18:15) God's Plan Foretold - Who is this Prophet? Stephen used this verse to support his claim that Jesus Christ is God's Son, the Messiah (Acts.7:37). The coming of Jesus Christ to earth was not an afterthought but part of God's original plan.

(18:21-22) Hearing the Voice of God - As in the days of ancient Israel, some people today claim to have messages from God. God still speaks to his people, but we must be cautious before saying that the Lord has spoken through someone. How can we tell when people are speaking for the Lord? (1) We can see whether their prophecies come true- the ancient test for judging prophets. (2) We can check their words against the Bible. God never contradicts himself, so if someone says something contrary to the Bible, we can know that what they say is not from God. (See 13:1-5.)



Dave Burnette's Life Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Deuteronomy with Chapter 18 and we see Moses gives the Principles that the former generation failed to give and example before them. In this 4th part , The Laws for ruling the nation, Moses goes through Offerings for the Priests and Levites, Warnings against Unholy Practices, and Advice Concerning the Prophets. Many practical applications can be applied from the conduct of Ministers to our Separation from the unholy worldly teachings of the world, to our following the teachings of the leaders of the Lord. In making application in our lives we see that many are giving us teachings and messages. Some come in the name of the World and give worldly advice teaching us to go its way. Some come saying they have a word from the Lord but are deceitful and have there own agenda, and some have a word from the Lord which will line up with Scripture and the Holy Spirit to help us grow. So many voices can confuse or frustrate the new believer and those who have little knowledge of the Word of God. The Key to know what voice to listen to and the Key to catch a counterfeit is to study the original. This reminds me of a story I heard of how the FBI trains its agents to identify counterfeit bills. Instead of looking at counterfeit bills they study the real currency. After much study they can spot a fake because they know the real currency. They know how it feels, how it smells, and every detail of how it looks. We need to do same when it comes to learning from others. We are to know God's Word through our simple daily Bible study so that when presented with false or worldly teaching we can then reject the counterfeit for we know what the Word says. How about you? If you were presented with false or wordily teaching could you identify it because you have a understanding of God's Word. Let us learn from today's text so we will identify the counterfeit.


Deuteronomy 18

Deuteronomy 18

 1The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and his inheritance.

 2Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the LORD is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them.

 3And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.

 4The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.

 5For the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever.

 6And if a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all Israel, where he sojourned, and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which the LORD shall choose;

 7Then he shall minister in the name of the LORD his God, as all his brethren the Levites do, which stand there before the LORD.

 8They shall have like portions to eat, beside that which cometh of the sale of his patrimony.

 9When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

 10There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.

 11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

 12For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

 13Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.

 14For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

 15The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

 16According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

 17And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

 18I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

 19And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

 20But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

 21And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

 22When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.