每日诗歌: Speak, O Lord (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubRlJj8xkds)
Deuteronomy 17 [Read]
Deuteronomy 18 [Read]
Deuteronomy 19 [Read]
Mark 14:1-25 [Read]
Does God want his people to have a king other than Himself? If we read 1 Samuels 8, then our answer will be a resounding NO! It seems clear that kingship belongs to God only, and a request for a human king is a sign of rebellion by God’s people. But, is this the right conclusion?
Buried in this long book of God’s commandments and decrees is a short section about appointing a king, a human king (Dt 17:14-20). Surprisingly, God was not against his people having a king. In fact, he seemed to have predicted this request (17:14). Instead of condemning his people for wanting that, God actually stipulated requirements for this king. First, he must be chosen by God from among the Israelites (17:15). It’s not a democratic process, but a theocratic selection. God shall choose his servant to lead his people. Second, many things he ought not to do (17:16-17), including acquiring many horses (for power), going back to Egypt (for worldly way), taking many wives (for fleshy desire), and accumulating gold and silver (for personal wealth). In a few simple words, God has pointed out the most tempting elements for a leader. And a godly leader shall flee from those things. Finally, the king must write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law taken from the priest (17:18), and he must read it all the days of this life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God (17:19). In other words, a leader of God’s people must be very familiar with God’s word. The power of God’s word shall make him humble and stay on God’s way.
The Israelites did not follow these when they went to Samuel and requested a king, for they wanted their king to lead them and to fight the battle for them (1Sam 8:20). They were willing to give anything as long as they had a strong leader, so that the nations around them would not be able to oppress them. They wanted a king to serve their needs, not fulfilling God’s will. And we all know the disastrous result of Saul the first king of Israel. God was not against a king, just against a wrong king.
What do we want in a leader of a church? Do we want a faithful and humble learner of God’s word as God specified, or a leader to fight the battle for us as we specified? That’s a question for all of us to think about today.
Keep on reading,