24 Days of Advent Scripture Devotionals

Day 10 – I Will Put My Words in His Mouth

Deuteronomy 18:18

Moses and the Ten Commandments – Marc Chagall

I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. – Deuteronomy 18:18

This prophecy from the book of Deuteronomy is recognized by the Jewish teachers to refer to the Messiah. But many do not believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah and say that he is disqualified from fulfilling this prophecy because he said he was the Son of God.

Jesus came as a man (like Moses) and being a Jew was from “among their brethren”. Like Moses he was a prophet who brought the words of God to the people. He spoke and taught with authority as did Moses. He was the prophet that God promised to Moses and the people in Deuteronomy chapter 18.

Jesus said, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” (John 12:49 NKJV)

The Messiah was to be a prophet like Moses but he is so much more than Moses. He is the Son! The author of Hebrews writes, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son.” (Hebrews 1:1-2 NKJV)

Since Jesus the Son was greater than the prophets, greater than the angels, “we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” (Hebrews 2:1)

Hebrews 3:1-6

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Song: Light of the World

Oh Jesus, son of God, so full of grace and truth
The Father’s saving word, so wonderful are You
The angels longed to see and prophets searched to find
The glory we have seen revealed

You shone upon the Earth but who will understand?
You came unto Your own but who will recognize?
Your birth was prophesied, for You were the Messiah
Who came and walked upon the Earth
Your glory we have seen, the one and only King
And now You’re living in our hearts

Light of the world, light of the world
Light of the world, You shine upon us

In You all things were made and nothing without You
In Heaven and on Earth all things are held in You
And yet You became flesh, living as one of us
Under the shadow of the cross
Where, through the blood You shed
You have made peace again
Peace for the world that God so loves

Day 8 – Submit to the Remedy

Moses and the Brazen Serpent – Sébastien Bourdon

Numbers 21:8-9

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived. – Numbers 21:8-9

In just a few short verses in the book of Numbers we read how the people spoke out to Moses against God, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.” (Numbers 21:5)

Manna, the miraculous bread from heaven had now become “worthless bread” and the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and those who were bitten died. God told Moses to make a serpent and put it up on a pole. Anyone who simply looked at the serpent would live even if they had been bitten.

I wonder how many perished because they would rather die than humble themselves and look at the foolish serpent up on a pole. It makes me think of my own stubborn heart when I have refused to admit my own fault. Or those of us who are parents may have had those times when we have required our child to apologize to a sibling and have waited for hours for those simple words, “I’m sorry” to be uttered.

What a strange story with eternal implications. The remedy was easily understood and did not require any particular skill: just look at the serpent on the pole. But the act of looking did require that each person admit their fault and submit to the remedy no matter how foolish it seemed. Sadly, with the cure freely given and right in front of them, many died in their stubbon pride.

On one occasion, Nicodemus, a teacher of the law and one very familiar with this story, came to ask Jesus about eternal life. Jesus, told him something that seemed foolish: you must be born again. He then told him how like that serpent that Moses put on a pole, the Son of Man must be lifted up and that “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” So many people have heard those famous words from John 3:16 but few do what is required: admit their sin and submit to the remedy.

John 3:14-17

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

The apostle Paul wrote the believers in Corinth the following words which are just as true today as they were in the 1st century…

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18

Hymn: Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne

Emily Elliot wrote these words in 1864 and they were set to the tune “Margaret” in 1876. I love the way the verses tell the matter of fact story of Jesus’ life while the refrain is a personal plea for the Savior to make his home in my heart. There was no room at the inn but there is “room in my heart for Thee.”

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown
When Thou camest to earth for me
But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus
There is room in my heart for Thee

Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang
Proclaiming Thy royal degree
But of lowly birth didst Thou come to earth
And in great humility
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus
There is room in my heart for Thee

The foxes found rest, and the birds their nest
In the shade of the forest tree
But Thy couch was the sod, O Thou Son of God
In the deserts of Galilee
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus
There is room in my heart for Thee

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living Word
That should set Thy people free
But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn
They bore Thee to Calvary
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus
There is room in my heart for Thee

When the heavens shall ring, and her choirs sing
At Thy coming to victory
Let Thy voice call me home, saying “Yet there is room
There is room at My side for thee”
My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus
When Thou comest and callest for me

Day 6 – Bread From Heaven

Exodus 16:14-15

Manna From Heaven – Stained Glass – Priory Church, Great Malvern

And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat. – Exodus 16:14-15

God has a sense of humor. The people in the wilderness were grumbling about not having any food to eat and he miraculously provided food that was like white round drops of dew on the grass and tasted like honey wafers. “Manna” sounds very spiritual but it actually means, “What is this stuff?” The people lived on “What is it” for 40 years until they entered the promised land.

In John chapter 6 we read the account of how the multitudes flocked to see Jesus after he fed the five thousand. Jesus had a prime opportunity to capitalize on his new rise in popularity; everybody was talking about it and coming to see the next miracle with the hopes of getting some free food!

However, the Son of Man does not take polls.

Jesus gave the following discourse as he rebuked the people for their spiritual blindness and offered them what would really satisfy: himself.

John 6:26-40

Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

The people who heard these words dreamed of seeing or tasting the “What is it”. I believe that God has a sense of humor because he miraculously provided this “stuff” that the people ate for 40 years knowing that like any of us they would grow tired of the daily routine and the lack of variety. It makes me think of Keith Green’s old song, “So You Want to Go Back to Egypt” where the people are complaining, “Manna again? Manna-burgers, Ba-Manna Bread, Manna-cotti?”

God provided for them and kept them alive but played a little joke on them by giving them stuff that would not completely satisfy. Isn’t that like everything that we try to fill ourselves with in this life that is not from the Source of Life? We have an opportunity to write the punchline to God’s joke: we can believe in Him whom he sent and laugh along or we can be miserable and eat our spoiling manna.

I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. – John 6:35 NKJV

Hungry

This worship song by Kathryn Scott is not a Christmas song but it speaks of a hunger for Jesus and that He alone can satisfy.

Hungry, I come to You
For I know You satisfy
I am empty but I know
Your love does not run dry

So I wait for You, So I wait for You

I’m falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

Broken, I run to You
For Your arms are open wide
I am weary but I know
Your love does not run dry

So I wait for You, So I wait for You

I’m falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus, You’re all this heart is living for

Day 3 – The Gate of Heaven

Jacob’s Dream – Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

Genesis 28:17

Children are often taught the story of Jacob’s Ladder; the vision that Jacob saw when he was sleeping in the place he named Bethel. I wonder if anyone ever teaches that this is a Messianic prophecy?

Here’s the passage:

Genesis 28:10-17

Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”

We see that Jacob, like his father and grandfather, received a promise from God for his descendants. But what about the part about the ladder with the angels going up and down. Did you know that the Messiah IS Jacob’s Ladder? Not one of the angels but THE LADDER. What??? Find out from his own words, first when he met Nathaniel and told him that he would see the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.

John 1:43-51 NKJV

The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”

Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

In John chapter 10 Jesus said that he was the door, or gate, for the sheep.

John 10:7-10 NKJV

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

The way, the entrance to heaven is through the Son of God, Jesus Christ and that is the meaning of the prophetic vision given to Jacob that through his seed, the Messiah, all nations would be blessed. He is The Gate of Heaven and all who believe are welcome to enter in.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. – John 14:6 NKJV

Hymn: Joy to the Word

Yesterday we read about the curse in Genesis 3:15. But as one of the verses written by Isaac Watts in 1719 says, “No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground. He comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found.” Yes!

Joy to the world ! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing

Joy to the world! The Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

No more let sins and sorrows grow
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found
Far as the curse is found
Far as, far as, the curse is found

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders, wonders, of His love

Please enjoy the following, very unique rendition of Joy to the World (with a little Three Dog Night inserted in there at one point)