Deuteronomy 16:18 - 20:20 is a new section that covers civil regulations that would regulate life among the people of Israel so that they would "purge the evil from Israel."
Deuteronomy 17 deals with officiating idolatry (death by stoning if there were two or three witnesses). The judges and priests would officiate, and the people were not to question it.
This chapter also holds a foretelling of Israel's rule by kings. This will come about as the theocracy set up by God will unravel in the book of Judges and a monarchy will be set up in 1 Samuel. God knew all of this. So, He speaks through Moses about the qualifications of a future king of Israel. There were three "don'ts and one "do":
DO NOT ACQUIRE . . .
Horses - Solomon will not honor this - Kings 4:26
Many Wives - Solomon will not honor this - 1 Kings 11:3
Large amounts of gold and silver - Solomon will not honor this - 1 Kings 10:14
DO FOLLOW . . .
The Law of God - Solomon will not honor this - 1 Kings 11:11We will read about the fall of Solomon later this year. As the king fell, so did the nation of Israel leading to its division and eventual captivity! It is so sad!
The Scarlet Thread of Redemption
Deuteronomy 18 is mostly about the portion for the Levites and the prohibition of occult practices, but Moses speaks of a future prophet:
The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. (18:15)
This is a prophecy of Jesus. The Bible Knowledge Commentary states:
The ultimate Prophet like Moses (18:15, 18) is Jesus Christ -- the One who spoke God's words and who provides deliverance for His people. Not even Joshua would be compared to Moses, for since Moses "no prophet has risen in Israel like" him (34:10) with such power before men and intimacy with God. However distinguished a future prophet's role might be in Israel, none would be like Moses until the Mediator of the New Covenant, Jesus Christ, came. Moses set the standard for every future prophet. Each prophet was to do his best to live up to the example of Moses until the One came who would introduce the New Covenant. During the first century A.D. the official leaders of Judaism were still looking for the fulfillment of Moses' prediction (cf. John 1:21). Peter said their search should have stopped with the Lord Jesus (Acts 3:22-23). (Other early and clear predictions of the Messiah may be found in Gen. 49:10-12; Num. 24:17-19). (Volume 1: p. 297)
This is a 2017 update to this blog, I have never seen this prophecy of Jesus before! I love learning new things about Him!
The foreshadowing of Solomon's eventual fall is so sobering to me. Instead of focusing on the "don'ts" in this passage, I like to focus on the one "do" in that list. The eventual king of Israel was to:
1) Write a copy of the law
2) Keep it with him
3) Read it all the days of his lifeAnd why was he to do that?
So that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 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. (Deuteronomy 17:19-20 - NIV says revere, and I like that.)Psalm 119:38 is the prayer of my heart to God for myself and for all of us here at the Bible Book Club, "Establish Your word (promise) to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You."
I want us all to write the Word on the tablet of our hearts day in and day out. Let's learn reverence through our meditation on it and obedience to it; even more so if some of us are called to leadership!
Keep reading God's Word! Keep writing it on the tablet of your heart! Never give up even if you become a great and busy leader!!!!
If you have not read it by now, don't forgot to read about having a love for God's Word in the post HERE. Also remember to read The Word Hand illustration and evaluate your intake of God's Word.
Lord, I praise You and thank You for Your Word!!!!!! Please write it on our hearts. Please teach us to reverence You with all of our being. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.