n Deuteronomy 17:14-17, Moses indicates that Israel would eventually grow up to the point when they would have a king. This progress in the life of the nation would indicate a maturity beyond their priestly childhood into a kingly adolescence. The king would rule not only by use of the law of Moses but also by application of that law with wisdom, a knowledge of good and evil. In Deuteronomy 17, Moses outlines three commands specifically for the coming king in his rule over the nation: don’t multiply 1) horses, 2) wives or, 3) gold (16-17).
I recognize that the nation of Israel had a very specific and special role in the world at that particular point of history, which placed particular and peculiar requirements on them in fulfilling that role. I also recognize that the requirements upon that nation are not necessarily paradigmatic of civil rule for all time. Nonetheless, those requirements can be instructive to civil rulers today who desire to emulate biblical wisdom in their policies.
Israel got her king a generation too early due to her impatience to acquire and exercise a knowledge of good and evil before God’s time. Saul, though initially righteous, turned out to be a disaster. Yet, with the coming of David, in God’s providence, Israel was ready for a king. With the coming of David, Israel’s borders became established and secure. Her internal enemies were suppressed. Worship was set up in Jerusalem. And the nation became unanimously unified around that worship and the ruler God had placed there.
Haven’t had time to blog in awhile and still don’t. However, I have been thinking about a post on national defense. Thankfully, some great work is already done. Please read the whole post at Practicing the Kingdom.