Deuteronomy 17:14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Introductory Thoughts

The Lord gave Israel some essential instructions for when the time would come for them to choose a king to rule over them. Specifically, He set forth some rules by which Israel’s king was to conduct himself during his reign. For instance, if this king was to enjoy a prosperous reign, it would be because he gave himself to the daily reading of the law of God. As he read the law of God, he would “learn to fear the LORD his God.” This fear would cause the king to “keep” and “do” “all the words of this law.” When the king chose to depart from the law of God, “his heart” would be “lifted up above his brethren.” When the king ceased to be right with the Lord, he ceased to be right for the people.

Devotional Thoughts

(For children): Josiah was a righteous leader. Read what he did when he was sixteen, twenty, and twenty-six years old (2 Chronicles 34:1-3, 8). It was evident that he feared the Lord (2 Chronicles 34:18-21). He was right for the people (2 Chronicles 34:27-33; 2 Kings 23:25).
∙ (For everyone): Read Proverbs 29:2. What happens when the righteous are in authority? How is this confirmed in Esther 3:15 and Esther 8:15?
∙ Who puts the world leaders in authority (Daniel 2:21; Psalm 75:5-7; Proverbs 8:15-16)? How does this demand that they should yield themselves to the will and leadership of God?

Prayer Thoughts

∙ Ask God to show our leaders their need to submit to Him.
∙ Thank God for those leaders who rule in righteousness.