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The Righteous Leader (Deuteronomy 17:14-20)

Introductory Thoughts

The Lord gave Israel some essential instructions for when the time would come for them to choose a king to rule over them. Specifically, He set forth some rules by which Israel’s king was to conduct himself during his reign. For instance, if this king was to enjoy a prosperous reign, it would be because he gave himself to the daily reading of the law of God. As he read the law of God, he would “learn to fear the LORD his God.” This fear would cause the king to “keep” and “do” “all the words of this law.” When the king chose to depart from the law of God, “his heart” would be “lifted up above his brethren.” When the king ceased to be right with the Lord, he ceased to be right for the people.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Josiah was a righteous leader. Read what he did when he was sixteen, twenty, and twenty-six years old (2 Chronicles 34:1-3, 8). It was evident that he feared the Lord (2 Chronicles 34:18-21). He was right for the people (2 Chronicles 34:27-33; 2 Kings 23:25).
  • (For everyone): Read Proverbs 29:2. What happens when the righteous are in authority? How is this confirmed in Esther 3:15 and Esther 8:15?
  • Who puts the world leaders in authority (Daniel 2:21; Psalm 75:5-7; Proverbs 8:15-16)? How does this demand that they should yield themselves to the will and leadership of God?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to show our leaders their need to submit to Him.
  • Thank God for those leaders who rule in righteousness.