In Numbers 17, Moses prophesizes about a time in Israel’s future when they will call out for a king to rule over them. When this happens, Moses warns that the king must adhere to certain standards to ensure the success of his reign.
- An obedient Israelite king was to depend not on military strength, but on the Lord alone. He was to put all his trust in God. Moses reminds them that God had already demonstrated His ability to crush the large superior chariot army of Egypt back in the Book of Exodus when Israel had yet to establish an army.
- The king was not to participate in polygamy because it would lead him into idolatry when he tried to satisfy all his wives’ religious preferences.
- He must resist the urge to accumulate riches because these would likely cause him to depend on his own resources rather than on the Lord.
- Finally, the future king was to write out for himself a copy of the Law, in front of the Levitical priests. The idea was to keep this with him at all times during his rule that he might keep his eyes on the Lord.
As we continue to read on through the history of Israel in the coming months, we will see how the Kings failed to keep these promises and the consequences of their sin, failures and the impact on the Nation of Israel.
We shake our heads in wonder when we read about the absolute failure of Israel’s kings, despite God’ presence and the warnings of the Prophets.
Yet – how much are we like Israel’s ancient kings, continually tempted to trust in our own earthly resources, abilities and gifts? I think of how little time we spend in the Scriptures, contemplating His love and promises.
As we move out of the Easter season, let us not forget the King of Kings.
Jesus had no earthly resources to speak of and relied wholeheartedly on His Father.
He knew the Scriptures and lived them perfectly, thereby securing the blessings of the kingdom for Himself and for all those who trust in Him.
When we look to Jesus, we have the ability to use all the resources that God has put at our disposal, while relying entirely on Him.
For Jesus was the true and final King, who lived as every king before him was supposed to, yet He suffered on the cross for our sin that we might one day reign with Him in the new Kingdom.
Until next time, keep reading…Jim Excerpts and references: HCSB Study Bible, Gospel Transformation Bible