Playing checkers as a child, the phrase “king me!” had a certain ring to it. Other than the obvious potential for winning, there was a certain satisfaction in getting to that point in the game, some little pleasure in that one-up move.
There’s a certain satisfaction that can creep in when you take on a leadership role. The opportunity for shaping things can be so alluring. You can almost picture hands rubbing together at the thought of changing things to one’s liking. “If I were in charge….”
That doesn’t seem to be the spirit that God was imparting to the Israelites when He gave them instructions for when they would desire a king. Check out Deuteronomy 17:14-20. “Appoint a king that the Lord chooses.” Hmmm…the king was God‘s choice!
“He should be one of you, an Israelite.” That makes sense. God called Israel into existence as His very own cherished possession. Why would He entrust His treasure to someone who did not know His ways?
The second instruction is to the king. He should not accumulate three things: many horses! Do not go back to Egypt for them either! Not many wives either, lest they turn his heart away from the Lord. Don’t accumulate large amounts of gold or silver for himself. Interesting that God addresses three primary temptations for leaders: power, sex, and money.
The third instruction fascinated me. The king was to make his own copy of the Scriptures, taken from the scrolls of the Levitical priests and read it “all the days of his life.” Can you imagine that your first assignment as a new leader is writing out your own copy of the Bible? It’s not a bad idea. Then, read it every day of your life!
The reasons are compelling-that he would learn to fear the Lord and follow Him wholeheartedly and that his heart will not be elevated above his brothers in turning from the Law. In a sense, his kingship was a role, not his identity. Being a king wasn’t about what the role could profit him; it was about leading and stewarding a nation. Being a king was not about being better than his brothers and choosing to disregard the Lord. His audience would be the Lord. His accountability would be with the Lord.
The consequence of fulfilling these actions would be that the king and his descendants would reign over Israel for a long time. Sadly, when you read the stories of the kings of Israel and Judah, you can see the differences between those who truly followed the Lord and those whose hearts were elevated and departed from the Law. I have to wonder if they had written out their own copy of the Law and read it every day. I wonder what difference that would make in their choices.
The passage has me thinking. To what degree does the Word of God shape my thinking? my values? my decisions? my time? my relationships?
What difference does reading the Word make in your life daily? What effect does it have on the choices that you make as a person, as a leader?
Great observations, AB. Thanks for sharing. I know being in the Word every morning has made all the difference in the world to me. It keeps me humble; it brings me into sweet fellowship with my Jesus, and it affirms the mission I’ve been given as a disciple of Christ.
What a great bit of scripture! I’ve read it before, but today it spoke to me on several levels. First it struck me as God weighing in on daily devotions – he’s for them. Second it struck me that the way i do devotions (Complete disclosure: I need to do them more often) is a good way to do them. Then as I thought about your question. Reading the word affects my life in that I come away sensing that I have actually heard from God – not every time – but often, and that gives me confidence to lead.
I love that, Joel. Confidence to lead – we have that when we have heard His voice.
Terry and were just reflecting on leading in the WORD today. What a great insight, challenge and reminder. Although, if I had to write out the Bible, I am not sure I would be able to read my own writing, much less anyone else. 😀
The Word guides my thought as i think of the various activities of the day, the Holy Spirit uses it to stir the desire to bring glory to God in all that i have to do. Reading or studying the Word keeps me in tune with God. This is just the little i want to share. Thanks for this insightful sharing, it is a reminder, a challeng and a warning to me and to everyone who listens. God bless you.
Thanks, Samuel. I like your words “keeps me in tune with God.” so true!
To lead the people to fulfill God’s agenda a leader needs to always be in tune with God. Oh Lord help me to have an unbroken fellowship with you everyday of my life!
Amen! Mudasiru that is a very good prayer to pray.
I will amen that, too!
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thanks, Steve. that post continues to make me think as well!
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