Moses said to the people: ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like myself, from among yourselves, from your own brothers; to him you must listen. This is what you yourselves asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the Assembly. “Do not let me hear again” you said “the voice of the Lord my God, nor look any longer on this great fire, or I shall die”; and the Lord said to me, “All they have spoken is well said. I will raise up a prophet like yourself for them from their own brothers; I will put my words into his mouth and he shall tell them all I command him. The man who does not listen to my words that he speaks in my name, shall be held answerable to me for it. But the prophet who presumes to say in my name a thing I have not commanded him to say, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.”’
First reading for Sunday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time
The reading speaks of the power of the prophet – his words save; and the power of the message entrusted to the prophet – if he speaks falsely he dies!
There is no getting away from the seriousness of the life that God calls his people to. To choose it and work for it is life. To ignore it, refuse it, or misrepresent it, is death.
We may sometimes be closer to immediate experience of the Glory of God, and sometimes that Glory may be mediated through prophets or scripture or sacraments. But it is the same Glory – and we are invited to respond! In fact we have no choice: the fact of God, his Glory and love are there, we have to choose…
Moses and Joshua. Worcester Cathedral. (c) 2017, Allen Morris