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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Rules for the King

Deuteronomy 17:14-20

Verse 18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests.

We are going to take a step back in history to see the importance of what David had agreed to when he made the covenant with the elders of Israel. These men knew the law and would have known about this portion of the law which would have seemed unreasonable at the time Moses received it from the Lord.

While the Israelites were in the wilderness they had been learning just how adamant God was about being their one and only ruler. He was giving them laws to abide by not just while in this time of wandering but more importantly when entering the land He had promised their ancestor, Abraham. God wasn’t sending His people into the new land with naïve expectations of His people. While His desire is always that His chosen will live holy lives by following His laws, He knows we are only human. That doesn’t mean He gives us a free pass but that He has reason to show grace.

So while in the wanderings in the wilderness God told Moses that He knew the people would someday want a king like the other nations had, in essence the Lord was saying He knew His people would reject Him as their leader. Knowing that they were going to want a king, He gave rules as to who could be their king and what he must do as their king.

The man that was chosen to be the king of God’s people had to be one of their own. He couldn’t be a foreigner who had been living with them and couldn’t be just anyone from the tribes. The king was also not too take on many wives as they could lead him astray and would have great influence on the future kings. Nor was he supposed to amass much wealth for himself or a large amount of horses. Horses would have been something that would remind them of the rulers of Egypt and that was not to be part of the ruler’s life in the new land.

One of the most important things that was required of a king was the rewriting of the law for his own keeping. He had to get a copy of the law from the priests and write it out in his own handwriting. Then he had to read it every day so he remembered what the Lord required of His people. Furthermore he must never see himself as better than other Israelites so that he didn’t turn even slightly from the law. God wanted the king of His nation to reflect Him and His righteousness.

Making It Personal

Which of those requirements of the kings does God still desire from you? Why is it important not to look at ourselves as better than others? Does your life reflect the Lord of Heaven?

Making It Personal Kids

What does Jesus want you to act like? Do you think that you are better than your friends? How should you treat others?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for putting rules in place for leaders so that things can be done in ways which will reflect You and Your righteousness. Help us to be citizens that also reflect who You are, so You receive all the glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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