Led by a King, Living Like Kings
In the past few weeks we’ve heard from the pulpit the characteristics and roles of leaders in the church (1 Tim. 3:1-7; 5:17-25). These ancient words map back on to yet still-more ancient words. For instance, Deuteronomy 17:14-20.
When Israel anoints a king, he needs to do one thing negatively (put in three parts), and one thing positively. The negative: he is to keep himself from being entangled by the world, whether it be in the form of power (16), sex (17a) or money (17b). Explicit or implied: any of these will lure the king and the people away from this generous God. His gifts, ironically, woo us away from His yet still greater gifts.
So then, the king was to write out by hand his own copy of the the law, and read it daily. First, it would burn away pride. The king is to be humble, not above his brothers. Second, it would ensure the king would lead the people to enjoy the Promised Land for a long, long, long time. Doesn’t it sound good to be led by such a King?
Stop for a moment, and revel in the reality that we have this King, who is gentle and lowly in heart. Whoever follows this King finds rest for their soul, under his easy yoke and light burden.1
But which still leaves us with the question: what then, for us? United to him, we too now are kings, soon to reign with him. This charge to the kings of Israel lands to us, but with a few important tweaks:
First, look again at the King, who did all this for you, in your place. His active obedience counts to us. And for all the ways that love of money, sex and power have lured us away, He’s won our forgiveness.
Second, we too now may resolve to keep free from the world, and to read the Scriptures, so that we may SEE God. Then we will no longer see money, sex and power as sources of life, but as gifts, from a generous Father.
Then our enjoyment of them is actually heightened. The sad truth: the sex addict is the one who enjoys sex the least. Gifts are enjoyed most when they’re enjoyed as gifts, as our pleasure in them is doubled and eclipsed by our pleasure in the Giver.
“In yourself You rouse us, giving us delight in glorifying You, because You made us with Yourself as our goal, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” -Augustine, Confessions
1 I invite you to look again at the last paragraph of Matthew 11. What qualifies a person to come to Jesus, according to this passage? Do you qualify?