“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, . . .”
Looking centuries ahead into Israel’s future, God speaks of the principles that should govern the life of the king. Four important principles are established which every leader would do well to observe.
First, the king was not to multiply horses for himself. Horses were used in warfare and gave an army a distinct advantage over those who did not have a cavalry. While it is true God wanted the king to trust Him for the protection of the nation, the real reason for not multiplying horses was, the people were not to return to Egypt. Egypt was always a picture of the past life, the life of bondage, the life before being delivered by the blood of the Lamb. If we are going to succeed in following Christ, and leading others, we have to leave the old life behind, and never resurrect the things that were laid down at the cross.
Second, the king was not to multiply wives to himself. It was a common practice among ancient Oriental kings, to have many wives. Their harem was a sign of their position. I think one of the principles behind this, Israel was not to establish their sexual morals based upon the standards of the world around them. Today, it is not common for men to have multiple wives (at least not at the same time.) However, it is common for people to have sexual relations before marriage, outside of marriage, and to treat marriage as a disposable contract that can be erased because we are no longer happy with our spouse. If we are going to successfully follow Christ, we can not let the world determine the way that we are to live.
Third, the king was not to greatly multiply silver and gold for himself. It was not wrong for the nation to have an army or for the king to have a wife. Nor is it wrong to succeed financially, and even acquire great wealth. Often the Bible is misrepresented when we declare “money is the root of all evil.” The Bible actually declares, “the LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10) The principle: the king was not to have a divided heart, loving mammon and the Lord. Nor was the king to put his trust in the bank account of the nation, but in the provision of the Lord. If we are going to succeed in following Christ, we cannot have a divided heart.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the king was to transcribe his own copy of the Bible, and read it every day. This would ensure that he did not exalt himself above the people, or wander from the ways of God. The most important principle in leadership, is to be a good follower. If we want to lead others to Christ, we must follow Him ourselves. The more we get to know the Word of God, the easier it is to follow him.
What transformation would our nation experience if our leaders put these principles into practice in their lives, and leadership?
What transformation would your life, family, and community experience, if you put these principles into practice in your life and leadership?