That He May Learn To Fear The Lord His God, To Keep All the Words of This Law and These Statutes to Do Them
Deuteronomy 17:14-20 – “When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.”
In these verses, we find the Lord giving specific instructions regarding the time when Israel was to have a king. It was always in the mind of God for Israel to have a king, however, the time and the individual was to be God’s decision and not Israel’s.
One of Israel’s crowning sins was thinking that they knew better as to what they needed and when they needed it.
When one gets ahead of God, the end result is always destructive. We must not forget that God’s timing and His will go hand in hand. Too often today, the church puts the cart before the horse.
It is hard for religious man to wait for God’s time; he wants to appoint committees; he seeks the opinions of men, and it never turns out for good.
The Lord told the Prophet Habakkuk: “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: Though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Hab. 2:2-3).
God’s plans are specific. It is our responsibility to seek out what God wants and how He wants it done, and that comes by prayer and studying God’s Word. Let us now look at the specifics of God’s will as it regarded a king for Israel.
THE LORD YOUR GOD SHALL CHOOSE
Deuteronomy 17:15 makes it clear that it was to be God and God alone who was to choose the king. So today we must learn to let God direct our path.
The Lord then said,“One from among your brethren.” This meant that only an Israelite could sit upon the throne. The problem today in the modern Pentecostal world is that its leadership is not God’s choice, and, instead of an “Israelite” (God’s choice), these denominations have Philistines as leaders. No “stranger” could ever sit on the throne of Israel because the bloodline of the people could not be contaminated, for this had to do with the coming Messiah.
BUT HE SHALL NOT MULTIPLY HORSES TO HIMSELF
This command was to be a reminder to the people that the strength of the army of Israel was to be the Lord and not horses and chariots.
NOR CAUSE THE PEOPLE TO RETURN TO EGYPT
In the Bible, Egypt always represents the system of the world as controlled by Satan himself. Sad to say, in too many churches today they have opened their doors to the world and invited Satan in. Too many churches are nothing more than rap shows, rock ’n roll shows, comedy shows, etc. The Word of God has been pushed aside, and preaching is nothing more than motivational speeches. It’s not our job to please the people; it’s our job to please the Lord. A preacher must be “a man sent from God.”
If you trust in Egypt as Israel did (Jer. 37:5-10) then just as Israel was defeated by the Babylonians, so too shall you be defeated.
NEITHER SHALL HE MULTIPLY WIVES TO
HIMSELF, NEITHER SHALL HE MULTIPLY
TO HIMSELF SILVER AND GOLD
The Lord commanded that the king not take multiple wives unto himself. This would turn out to be one of the great sins of the kings of Israel—wives from foreign lands who did not worship Israel’s God.
Secondly, the kings of Israel were commanded not to heap upon themselves great wealth, for when one is rich, one tends to trust in money instead of God.
It is the last three verses of our text I want to call your attention to. Deuteronomy 17:18 says: “And it shall be, when he sits upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites.
Verse 19: “And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: That he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.
Verse 20: ‘That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or the left: To the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.”
Let me break these three verses down for a clearer understanding:
1. Upon becoming king, he would be given a copy of their Bible of that day, which would be the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy).
2. Then, with his own hand, he was to write a complete copy for himself.
3. Upon finishing his copy, he was to read from it every day, actually, until his time of death.
4. He was not just to read it, but he was to learn its true wisdom, which was Jehovah.
5. He was to obey the words of the law and its statutes in order to understand the holiness of God.
6. The constant study and daily obedience would cause him to walk in humility.
7. His complete guidance was to be guided by the Word of God.
Now, if God demanded this of His kings of old, what does He require of us today?
Of course we know we don’t have to write our single copy of God’s words, but the other principles apply.
We are to study God’s Word daily—we are to be guided by its truth, we must learn to walk softly before our Lord, and learn from its pages each day what is right and what is wrong.
That’s why you must be careful what kind of Bible you are reading. It must be a word for word translation such as the King James. Too many Christians read “paraphrased editions” and paraphrased means that something has been left out. If you are a true believer, then your heart’s desire should be to know all of God’s words.
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