Deuteronomy 17 talks about how God wants things to happen in the new land. There are a couple key things to consider. God wants evil kept out. “You have to purge the evil from your community”. So what would our world look like if evil was purged? The method God gives here is to stone people who are evil. And much of the focus is on those who are “going off to worship other gods”. That is a far cry from our society today where we don’t even want to admit that our God exists. But the reality is that the community was responsible to keep people on track, and there was a requirement to stay that way. I don’t claim to have the modern application for this today – and certainly don’t think stoning people is the right response – but I do think Christ Followers need to stand up for what is right and push against that which is evil. And far too often we are silent and just avoid any confrontation with evil completely. That is not what God calls us to do.
The second thing that jumps out at me is God’s instructions for the king that he knows the people will put in place once they get to the Promised Land. God gives parameters on who should be selected and the things he needs to avoid – a big military, a lot of women, and too much stuff. Hmmm – those sound like the same triggers that get people in trouble today – power, sex and money. But God also tells us what the “first thing he must do” is as well. I love this: “make himself a copy of this Revelation on a scroll….to remain as his side at all times….to study it every day so he may learn what it means to fear his God….living in reverent obedience”. What an effective way to get started with God – copy the scriptures in your own hand writing and keep them close so you can live by them. We think it is a big deal to read them. How about copying the Bible by hand? That might be a good way to get God’s Word into your heart. Oh that our leaders in this nation would have God’s Word by their side so they could learn what He desires and then live in reverent obedience. Let’s pray that a wave of that will flow through our nation that the people leading will return to God’s truth!