Friday, October 20, 2017
“When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. And it will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel.
Before the nation of Israel even crossed the threshold from the wilderness into the Promised Land, God laid out instructions for the kind of king they must have if they chose a new leader.
Familiar with Scripture
The new king would have to personally copy the Scriptures and keep the scroll with him every day, reading and understanding it as a lifestyle for a lifetime.
Familiar with Humility
The Scripture, read daily and taken intimately as a guide is the best prophylactic for pride. When a person becomes king the rarified air of state dinners, cameras flashing, people bowing, motorcades, and all the pomp and circumstance associated with power can lead to thinking you’re above everyone. In fact, however, that only works against the reality that a servant must find a way to be under those he serves. That, not budgets, treaties and managing the underlings, is the real task of a king.
From my perspective, I do not see much of that kind of leadership in our world these days. I see plenty of posturing, jawing, and lording it over those with less power, but what I do not see is the kind of character and integrity of a leader in Scripture’s instructions. Indeed, Scripture is relegated to a manipulative tool when speaking to those groups who are “religious” and band together to manipulate their own brand of power-brokering.
There are bright spots in leaders from time to time, so this is not a blanket indictment of all modern leaders, but the modern prototype for a king seems to be brash, forceful and proud, with a decided arrogance that uses a lot of the personal pronoun to evaluate whatever’s going on.
This is a formula diametrically-opposite of that which ensures a crown will endure for many generations.
Contrary to what my grandchildren think, I am not old enough to have observed the likes of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. They may have been their generation’s version of today’s leaders; history doesn’t paint them so, but rather as more humble and servant-like. May their tribe be found again.
Who and What are under the crown of your leader?