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Choosing a King

Today is ‘election eve.’ As with every election, people are saying that this is the most significant election of all time. What happens as people vote will shape the course of world history.

In ancient Israel, the Israelites didn’t necessarily inherit a king through dynastic succession. The people often had an important role in the process. The king held a Chief Executive role within the country, given authority to apply God’s law to civil society. In His grace, God was not silent in offering some guidelines to the people of Israel about what they should look for in a King. Coming from an unchanging God, these principles remind us what we need to be looking for in a leader.

Read the following from Deuteronomy 17;
14 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, "Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us," 15 be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, "You are not to go back that way again." 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. 18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he writes for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.

In this passage, we are reminded about some of the following things we should know and consider before voting;

1) Vs. 15 – Ultimately, God chooses the leader. We must pray that God’s will is done, not that our candidate prevails.
2) Vs. 15 – Choose a leader who is familiar with our values and values our way of life is important. The leader needs to understand the worldview that shapes the nation.
3) Vs. 16 – We must seek someone who doesn’t seek power… power mongers disqualify themselves.
4) Vs. 16b – Is this leader going to lead us forward? Egypt was a symbol of pagan and earthly power).
5) Vs. 17 – How does this man stand up morally?
6) Vs. 17b – Is he money hungry? Is he seeking personal enrichment? Will he exploit the office?
7) Vs. 18 – How familiar is he with Biblical truths? This is more than just understanding our Judeo-Christian culture. Does he have a working knowledge of the scriptures?
8) Vs. 19 – Does he take God’s word seriously? Does he understand the call to love God and to love our neighbors? Does he reflect these laws?
9) Vs. 20 – Humility. Will he be a servant leader who demonstrates humility? A public office is a public service!
10) Vs. 20b – Does he walk a straight and balanced path? Is a person of idealistic extremes?? Is he going to subordinate his principles to his political or party loyalty? How does the candidate you will vote for stand up to these God-given guidelines

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