Advent 4 – 2010 – “Waiting for the Prophet”

Sermon by Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 12/19/2010

The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among you, from your brothers- it is to Him you shall listen” (Deu 18:15).

What is a prophet?

The dictionary defines a prophet as “a person who speaks by divine inspiration or as the interpreter through whom the will of a god is expressed.”

Armed with advance information from the Triune God, prophets in the Bible know when certain events are supposed to occur, while the rest of humanity must grope around in the dark—not knowing and forced to wait for those occurrences will happen.

There were many false prophets in the 19th and 20th centuries.

They claimed special knowledge from God to predict various supernatural events, none of which ever occurred when they were supposed to.

For instance, some of these false prophets predicted the return of Christ in 1982 or 1993, or in 2000.

That they fell flat on their face with their predictions is, of course, obvious because Jesus Himself says that it is not for us to know when He will return.

Other false prophets predicted that the New Jerusalem—that is, heaven—would be built in western Missouri or that the lost tribes of Israel would be found in the United States.

Still others predicted that the world would end in the Battle of Armageddon in 1914, or that all Christians would be raptured in 1981.

Despite the many false prophecies regarding the return of Christ, the creation of the New Jerusalem, or the location of the lost tribes of Israel—you and I still continue to wait for things to occur according to God’s perfect timing.

In our Old Testament reading, Moses is telling the people of Israel that the Lord would someday raise up a Prophet just like Moses himself—and that God’s people should listen to this prophet

Was Moses qualified to call himself a prophet?

Yes, because the Holy Spirit—the third person of the Trinity—gave Moses that title.

Furthermore, Moses’ prophesies came true—a litmus test for a true prophet.

For instance, with advance information from God Himself, Moses prophesied the ten plagues against the Egyptians and all of them came to pass.

Moses also promised that the Lord would lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, which came to pass as well.

Yet perhaps the most important statement of Moses is his Messianic prophecy in our text.

Because God did raise up that Prophet.

But from Moses’ point of view, God’s people would have to wait a long, long time before that Prophet would come on the scene—all in God’s good time. What a fitting message for this last Sunday in Advent, as you and I continue to wait for the First Coming of the Messiah in the manger of Bethlehem and for His return at the Last Day.

If seems that if there is anything you and I have lost in today’s culture is the ability to wait.

Because in this day and age, it seems everything has to be instant. We shop online because we can’t stand waiting in traffic jams or at the cash register. Many of us cannot even wait for water to boil in a tea pot or in the coffee maker, so we just microwave a cup of water and throw in some brown powder for a cup of coffee. As a society, we expect immediate results for our requests and wishes. Instant gratification has become a standard requirement.


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