As I read from Deuteronomy 17:14-20 this morning my mind went back to my Masters classes over the last few years where we studied this passage. Over the course of the program we focused on many different parts of this passage. But what stood out to me this morning as I read this again was verse 18, where God directs us that the King (leader) must make a copy of this himself.1 In his own hand writing.
When I memorize something it helps me to write it out in my own handwriting first a number of times. It is like I am using another part of my mind, instead of just listening or reading. By writing it, it becomes more a part of me. My kids tell me that I am “old school or old fashioned,” but I notice it has a much bigger impact on me if I hand write something instead of typing it on my computer.
In verse 19, it says, “he must keep a copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives.”2 I can picture God’s desire was for all of the kings to sit before they started their work day, in their quiet time to read this. “It must remain at his side at all times.”3 So that “he will learn to respect the Lord his God and obey.”4 I can almost picture God sitting on the edge of his chair looking intently into the King’s eyes and saying – Please do this and it will go well with you as a leader. Spend time with Me every day and you will do well. That way not only will you get to know me, and have access to my wisdom but you will also “not think you are better than your fellow Israelites.”5 “And change laws at a whim to suit himself.”6
What a charge to me as a leader. God’s desire for me is the same as the King. He says to me – Kevin, write this down, get it in your heart and spend time with Me. I have all the wisdom that you need to do your job. Don’t get proud and think you are better than anyone else. I have called you to serve. Be an example of Me. Don’t make rules or put things in place that take from others and line your pockets. But I will bless you as you are a blessing to others.
Then this added blessing – “and it will ensure that he and his descendent will reign for many generations.”7 If I do this, and set a proper example, not only will I lead well but also my children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will do likewise.
Lord, help me to keep You in front of me daily!!
1Vs 18 Duet 17:14-21 Holy Bible New Living Translation (2007) Tyndale house Publishing, Carol Stream. IL 60188
2Vs 19 Holy Bible New Living Translation (2007) Tyndale house Publishing, Carol Stream. IL 60188
3Vs 18-20 The Message (2002) Eugene H. Peterson, by NavPress Publishing
4Vs 19 The Holy Bible, New Century Version (2005) Thomas Nelson Publishing
5Vs 19 The Holy Bible, New Century Version (2005) Thomas Nelson Publishing
6Vs 18-20 The Message (2002) Eugene H. Peterson, By NavPress Publishing
7Vs 20 Holy Bible New Living Translation (2007) Tyndale house Publishing, Carol Stream. IL 60188