Whom the Lord Thy God Shall Choose
“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.” —Deuteronomy 17:14-20
The Hebrew title for this book is “The Words.” Deuteronomy is actually a repeating of the law to those who were a part of the new generation raised up in the wilderness, ready to occupy the land of promise. The name Deuteronomy means “second law,” or “this is the repetition of the law.”
The theme of the book is to “observe to do” what God commands.
My text has to do with God’s instructions to Israel regarding when they would have a king. The instructions and their meanings for us today are very important.
The Lord’s Choice
From the text, it’s obvious that it was always the Lord’s will for Israel to have a king. What we learn is threefold— God’s will, God’s time, and God’s choice. Israel was to have a king when God said it was time and that person was to be of God’s choosing.
In this timeline of the Bible, the people looking at the pagan nations around them desired a king. God had stated in the text that He was going to give them a king— when He desired and whom He desired. But the people rejected God’s time and selected Saul.
Saul reigned as king for forty years and then David, God’s choice, ascended to the throne. God’s will for Israel was to first occupy the land. Then, at a given point in time, David would be placed on the throne. Saul was a work of the flesh; the choice of the people. Because they wouldn’t wait on God’s time and God’s choice, they got a man whose reign as king would be summed up by one word—take (see I Sam. 8:11-18).
When man chooses, the outcome is always negative. When God chooses, the outcome is always positive. We must let God choose for us, meaning that we seek God for His will. We want God’s choice for our lives, and we yield to God’s timing.
Actually, God’s timing is just as important as His will. Our problem is that man tends to get ahead of God’s timing. Let the Lord set the timing in your life.
Deuteronomy 17:16 says, “But he shall not multiply horses to himself.” What the Lord is saying to Israel is, “I am going to make of you a great nation, a strong nation with a powerful army.” But their faith was never to be in the strength of their horses, chariots, or fighting men. Their faith was to be in God and God alone.
The Lord delights in giving us things, but things are just things, and things cannot take the place of God. Psalm 37:39 says, “But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD; he is their strength in time of trouble.”
The book of Psalms also tells us that the Lord is our rock, our hope, our refuge, our fortress, and our strong tower. All of this speaks of strength, which is only found in Him.
Silver And Gold
Deuteronomy 17:17 says, “neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.”
The Lord is not saying that it’s wrong to be rich, but He is saying the riches can be sin if that’s our only desire or if we trust in money instead of God. The Lord blesses and blesses abundantly, but we should never forget that it’s all of God and not us.
Deuteronomy 17:18 says, “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.”
Whoever the Lord put on the throne was to write, in his own hand, the Word of God. This speaks of diligence and devotion. The writing of God’s Word was to help the king learn the Word.
Then in Deuteronomy 17:19 it says, “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 statues, to do them.”
It was not enough to write their own copy; they were to read it every day and obey it. The same is for us today. While we don’t have to write our own copy, we are to read the Bible every day, study it, and obey it.
Verse Deuteronomy 17:20 says, “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.”
Proper study of the Word will always play out with the reader seeing the worthlessness of self and the worthiness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Proper study will always confirm to us that we are nothing, and He is everything.
The final part of Deuteronomy 17:20 says, “to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.”
This portion of the verse goes beyond life expectancy to the blessings of God coming upon us.
I encourage you to heed these verses. They were true then, and they are true today.
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