Chapter 17: Laws of God
God warns about sacrificing animals that are not perfect or are found to have blemishes or evil. He also warns about worshiping false gods. Anyone who does worship false gods shall be stoned to death.
Any time a case is difficult to be easily judged, the people shall take it before the priests to decide the sentence of the wrongdoer.
Chapter 18: A Prophet Will Arise
The Lord explains why the tribe of Levi shall not receive the same inheritance as the rest of the tribes of Israel. The reason for this, is that the tribe of Levi will receive the Lord as their inheritance, they have been chosen by him to minister for his people. They are sustained by the people and must abide by all of the commandments, just like the rest of the tribes of Israel.
God speaks of a prophet that will arise like Moses. This prophet is a prophecy of Jesus. See verses 9-18. The Lord says that he will put words in his mouth, and that just like Moses and future prophets the people of the Lord should hearken unto the voice of the prophet, because the prophet is the mouth piece of the Lord.
So here is a question which the Lord knew the Israelites would ask; “…How shall we know the word which the Lord hath spoken?” (Deuteronomy 18:21) and the Lord responds by saying;
“When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:22)
So what does that mean? I take it like this… A prophet is only a prophet when he is speaking as one. A prophet is just another person, only he is called of God to be his mouth piece. So that means that he has times when he speaks as himself (with his own personality and everything) and then there are times when he speaks as a prophet, with the power and authority of God. We need to understand the two differences, and know when something said is actually “word of God” vs “the words of man”. Not to discredit what prophets of old and modern prophets say. But we must understand that they are only the mouth piece of God.