“When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, ‘Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,'” (17:14)
The LORD knows people. He knows our tendencies. Even Jesus, in John 2:24, doesn’t entrust Himself to anyone because He knew all people. We want to be like those around us. We want to take things over and tred others down. This charge to future Kings is important and, of course, is ultimately ignored. Solomon took a heinous amount of wives and accumulated thousands of horses from Egypt. Israel never fully recovered.
Imagine a king who was required to write his own copy of the law, in his own handwriting, and read it every day. What a brilliant idea!
“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 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left.” (17:19-20)
I would tend to trust any leader of mine that had done that. Look for people who make a habit on meditading on Scripture and surround yourself with such people. These are the folks who can give you advice. Be leery of people who seem to be spiritual, but who are not students of the Word. Defaulting to worldly wisdom is a slippery slope.
“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. For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, ‘Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.'” (18:15-16)
The day Israel asked for a man to be in between them and God, they became a religion. Every religion has mediators and this is more comfortable for sinful man. But God’s design for us and Him was always intimate relationship. This passage should give you chills, because we know the story. God will send a prophet to be that mediator, but in a glorious twist, it will be God Himself.
He was a powerful all consuming fire to be with His people in the desert.
He became a man to die and reconcile Himself to us and be with us on earth
He put His Spirit inside His children to be closer still.
I beg you to not get lost in the laws, rituals and ceremonial practices. Don’t lose yourself in the “religion” of the Israelites. God is with us and Has made a way for us to be together.
The Kings had to write the words LOVE and GOD together over and over in their written copies of the Law. Deuteronomy is a complex, detailed, scientifically, socially, economically genius love letter. God is writing in His own hand:
Take care. I love you. I am coming for you. Don’t abandon me for another. We will be together.