Saturday, March 27
Not above the law
Scripture: Deuteronomy 17-18, Matthew 27
Deuteronomy 17:16–20 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 is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 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 fellow Israelites 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.
Moses gave regulations for the king—which meant that the king was not above the law, but subject to it like everyone else. Additionally, the king was not to enrich himself with great numbers of horses or large amounts of gold and silver. Nor was he to take the people back to Egypt, or take many wives which could lead his heart astray (see 1 Kings 11—Solomon’s story).
On the positive side, the king was to make his own handwritten copy of God’s law that he was keep with him and read it “all the days of his life.” PBJ! This would help him revere the Lord (worship) and follow God’s law (obey), and keep him humble, so he wouldn’t consider himself better than his fellow Israelites.
Jesus made it clear that leaders serve. Specifically, they serve others, not themselves. That’s also clear here in the regulations for the king. Good leaders don’t abuse their authority to pile up riches for themselves, or consider themselves above God’s law or above their fellows. Good leaders soak in God’s word every day to keep their hearts humble, their focus on the Lord and so they can do the will of God.
Here’s another wonderful outcome of PBJ (daily time with God in Prayer, Bible, Journal): it keeps you humble, connected to God and others and aligned with God’s will.
When prominent Christian leaders fall (like Ravi Zacharias), they’ve often been infected with a mentality that they are above the law. They believe they are an exception because they work so hard, or face so much stress. They convince themselves that they are owed something above and beyond—they deserve this sinful pleasure, this cheating edge, this illicit gain.
Good leaders aren’t above the law, but are subject to it like everyone else. They aren’t above those they lead. And the best way to remember that is daily time with God in His word.
Prayer: Lord, I pray that every Christian—especially Christian leaders—would make time every day to be with You in Your word, and would keep a humble heart.