Write it and Read it
Day: 17 | Plan: Deuteronomy
Today's Reading: Deuteronomy 17
Deuteronomy 17:18 (NIV) “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 priests, who are the Levites.”
Did a teacher ever require you to copy spelling words or sentences? If so, it probably seemed boring at the time, but when it came time for the test, you were probably thankful for the practice and wisdom you gained. That's why God gave Israel kings and an interesting copying assignment.
The pagan nations in the land of Canaan all had kings. In His wisdom, the Lord knew His people had the potential to grumble, complain and want what they didn’t have. They would be tempted to want a king like the nations surrounding them. So God put specific stipulations into place for the protection and welfare of His people.
God required that the king of Israel write a copy of God’s law for himself. Why? Copy work is an excellent way to study something, and the discipline of repetition helps move the material from the paper into our hearts and minds. God’s design and desire was that future kings of Israel would treasure and follow His Word. And God reveals His wisdom, His ways and His will through His Word. A king who spent time writing, learning and reading God’s Word would lead and rule with a humble heart and mind that focuses and relies on God.
The life of a leader sets the pattern for the people. These were God’s people. Therefore, it would be important for the king to have a comprehensive, well-grounded, working knowledge and personal understanding of God’s Word. By requiring a king to write God’s Word they were forced to slow down, focus and engage in it.
As the kings would study God’s Word for themselves, they would gain godly wisdom and begin to personally internalize God’s law. The godly wisdom, practices and personal insight gained by this practice couldn’t be borrowed. It had to be their own.
Reading God’s Word every day would firmly establish and reinforce its truth in their hearts and minds on a regular basis, guarding them from being led astray. It would be their source of reference for difficult decisions and help them grow in their reverence and respect for God. Then and only then could the king rule rightly.
We are all leaders to some degree. To have a personal and active knowledge of God’s Word will help us live our lives rightly. By keeping it with us every day, God’s Word helps us maintain a proper reverence for Him and an attitude of respect and humility toward others.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Word. I desire to be so deeply established and grounded in it that every thought and decision I make is filtered through the lens of Your truth. That takes discipline, and it takes time. So help me today to slow down, focus and engage my heart and mind with Your Word for myself. Help me to glean the instruction and insight I need from You to make wise decisions that are in alignment with Your will. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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