Friday, June 12, 2015


“Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.  And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes….”  (Deuteronomy 17:18-19)

Israel was meant to be a theocracy.  God would be their King.  He would deliver their laws, direct their governance, and defend them from their enemies.  This set them apart from all the other nations—which would become their problem, they would eventually want to be like the other nations.  All the other nations had a human king, so they would want one also.  The problem would be that they would want to emulate the other nations in their ways and worship as well.  There would be some good kings, who would lead the Jews, and even they had their flaws—and some more than others did.  Most of their kings would be depraved men leading degenerate people, and the downward spiral would remove the blessing of God and bring judgment instead.  Knowing that Israel would eventually clamor for a king, God told them the kind of king they would need.  In our republic, there is no king, but the principles here can help us determine the kind of government leaders we need, whether it be a president, senator, governor, mayor or judge.

Our leader must realize that God has ordained government to maintain a civil society (Deut.17:1-13).  Authority is meant to check anarchy.  The rule of law is meant to restrain fallen nature.  While the law cannot make us good, it can punish the bad and thereby hold it in check.  Government is to promote morality and punish evil—even capital punishment may be required.  Strict parameters are proscribed for this. 

  • The government official must realize his accountability to God (Deut.17:14-20).  Ultimately, he or she will not be judged in the court of public opinion, but in heaven’s tribunal.  Several qualities are to mark the kind of leaders we should elect.
  • We should seek God’s will for His choice rather than consider his personality or promises, both of which may be a masquerade (v.15a).
  • He is not to be of foreign birth, but chosen from among his people (v.15b).  None can better sympathize with the citizens than one who has shared their experiences.
  • The leader must not lean on human power, but on Divine protection to defend the nation (v.16).  This is not to say maintaining a strong national defense is wrong.  It is folly to fail in this.  Yet, that alone cannot protect us.  God must watch over us as we look on Him.
  • Government officials must be people of character whose hearts are not drawn to immorality or captivated by greed (v.17).
  • Knowing the Word of God and submitting to it will give the nation’s leaders the beacon of truth to guide them (v.18-20).
This is the kind of leader for which I am praying.  May God raise them up! 

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