Deuteronomy 17:14-20 – If You Want To Be A King

Read Deuteronomy 17:14-20

It is clear that God intends for the king to be a godly man. There are expectations set in place that will set him apart, but at the same time keep him humble. Does that make sense?  No multiple wives, no excessive riches, no stables full of horses. The job description of king doesn’t sound all that appealing if you are someone who is arrogant and seeking power to move ahead your own agenda.

God intends for the kings to stay true to their heritage of faith. To be a good king, then, they should be in direct communication with God every day, reading God’s instruction daily so he doesn’t go astray. Note the passage says the king “must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests.” It’s not just reading the law, it’s writing it down, in your own hand. There’s something powerful that happens when you rewrite words. It’s a “brain hack” you might say.

God knows that with power can come corruption. He wanted to set these kings up for success. When evil can get a foothold inside the heart of a leader, it’s like the snowball effect. Evil trickles down and people are abused, in fear, and taken advantage of.

When kings, or people in leadership, keep their eyes focused on God, the don’t lose sight of who is ultimately in charge. When they seek the wisdom of God, God will grant it. While this is good counsel intended for the kings chosen, it is also good practice for us as well. We’ve been talking about justice, and that can’t prevail if we are ignoring God’s laws. We, too, are under God’s authority just like the kings. God’s word is our anchor in times of struggle, confusion, and decision making. He sustains us.

God is not prescribing what the king’s responsibilities will be beyond being aware and reminded of God’s laws daily. What else struck me was that God will choose the king. I always remember how God chose King David while he was still a shepherd boy. Of all the strong sons of Jesse, God chose David. King David is a good example of a king who followed God. Temptations did strike him, yet, he was known to be a king with a heart after God’s own heart.

You may recall Samuel’s words to King Saul, who had let evil take over his heart and his kingdom. “But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” He was referring to David.

What’s inside your heart? Are you seeking God’s will for your life? Take a moment and just reflect on that for a moment. Be still. Listen. How does God want you to take leadership of your life?

Let’s pray … Lord, thank you for the leadership positions you have put in my path. I am grateful and look to you for guidance and wisdom. I want to be the kind of leader you intend for me. May I always listen for your voice. Help me to shut out the noise and discern between what is important and what is not in terms of moving forward. May I be an inspiration to those around me to love you more. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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