Deuteronomy 16–19: The King & The Law

Read the Bible in 2011Week 47: Monday

“You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you.”
Deuteronomy 16:19–20

Monday’s Bible reading is Deuteronomy 16–19. As I read these Laws the goodness and wisdom of God is so evident. There is such careful detail given to guide and guard the Israelites from sin and ensure their worship of God and justice and mercy in their dealings with each other. Chapter 16 opens with Moses gives the people instructions on celebrating Passover, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booths. He moves on to the administration of justice and instructions for any future king. Chapters 18 and 19 cover the Levites, the forbidding of any kind of spiritism and the cities of refuge.

Ever since I first read them, these verses have always fascinated me:

“Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.”
Deuteronomy 17:18–20

I really like the picture in my mind’s eye of the king sitting and copying out every word of the law in the presence of the priests. This would have meant he would have had to go over every word. Then the daily reading of the law would have kept him continually going over every word to learn to fear God (see Psalms 128–130: Forgiveness & Fear and Dan Phillips’ post, The fear of Yahweh involves revelation (excerpt from God’s Wisdom in Proverbs)).

We know disaster and judgment is coming in the history of their kings, and here we find out how it could have been averted.

The application for you and me is obvious.

One thing I’d like to suggest is rather than buy printed Bible verse cards, try to find those 3 x 5 cards that are spiral-bound together in a set of 50. Then write out verses for yourself. The most complete pack I have is one for which I typed out 2 Peter 1:1–15, and cut and taped it on the front and back covers (I typed it because I wanted the entire passage there, and I can’t write in such small letters!). Because Peter, after telling us what we should be applying with all diligence, in verse 9 tells us, “For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification for his former sins,” I filled it by writing various Bible verses having to do with salvation. There are many from from Romans in it, as you might think! The other week I started one with verses about love for God and love for others.

Because I’ve taught women’s Bible studies, before the days of cut and paste, I typed Scripture passages to hand out. I think I once typed out the entire book of Colossians! It was a long process, but after I finished I was really glad I had done it. Consider taking a group of chapters or a book of the Bible and writing them out.

May the Lord bless you through the reading of His Word!

_________
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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