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Bible Pathways 03/07/2002

March 07

Read Deuteronomy 17 -- 20

In Today's Reading:

Requirements of Israel's king include things forbidden and three things they must do. How do these requirements apply to Christians today? The first prophecy of Christ's ministry is given. Previous to this, both His Kingship (Genesis 49:10) and Priesthood (14:18-20) had only been alluded to. Amidst the explanation of the civil laws, find the purpose for the cities of refuge. We discover that even kings are subject to law! The three words do, keep, and observe are found more than 190 times in Deuteronomy.

Verses for Today:

A king shall not multiply horses to himself. . . . Neither shall he multiply wives to himself . . . neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. . . . he shall write him a copy of this Law in a book . . . 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 . . . to do them . . . that he turn not aside from the Commandments (Deuteronomy 17:16-20).


Laws concerning idolaters and obedience to authority; warning to kings; portion of offerings due priests and Levites; warning against heathen practices; prophecy concerning the coming of Christ; cities of refuge; laws concerning witnesses and war.

To insure the nation's well-being, the king was to depend upon God for victory over enemy nations. If the king failed, it would not be due to a lack of ability, but to his failure to keep all the words of this Law (Deuteronomy 17:19). Therefore, he was not to multiply horses for himself (17:16). Numerous horses represented military strength and would be very impressive to surrounding nations. But Israel's kings were to depend upon God, Who would defend Israel as He had done in the past. God desires to provide His power and give, protection, provisions, and peace to all who are obedient to His Word.

Israel's king was not to multiply wives to himself (17:17). Kings often married the daughters of other kings to form favorable political alliances. Dividing his allegiance between God, his harem, and his political responsibilities violated his relationship with God.

Israel's king was not to develop a lust for material wealth; therefore, he was not to greatly multiply to himself silver and gold (17:17). He was to recognize himself as one of the people in submission to the One True King, Who alone was their Master.

First and foremost, the king must be a diligent student of God's Word (17:18-20). He was to write his own copy of Deuteronomy. Then, he was to read it all the days of his life (17:19).

God had forewarned: Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God, in not keeping His Commandments . . . and say in your heart, my power and the might of my hand has gotten me this wealth (8:11,17-18).

Christians today are in a spiritual warfare similar to the Israelites, but our battle is against a far greater enemy than the Canaanites. Satan, the enemy of our souls, seeks to defeat, defile, and destroy us. Just as the king was to read the Word of God, each of us must put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).

A Thought from Psalms: Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness (119:36).

Christ Revealed:

Through the Old Testament sacrifices which were without blemish or defect (Deuteronomy 17:1). Christ our Sacrifice was perfect, pure from all sin (1 Peter 1:19).

Word Studies:

17:1 any evilfavoredness = any defect; 17:3 the host of heaven = the stars; 17:11 thou shalt not decline = you shall not deviate, turn aside; 18:3 maw = stomach; 18:8 sale of his patrimony = sale of his family property; 18:10 pass through the fire = burning children alive as a sacrifice, a common practice wherever there was worship of Molech; useth divination = a fortune teller, horoscope; witch = one claiming to exercise supernatural powers by evil spirits represented as pagan gods; 18:11 consulter with familiar spirits = one who seeks to speak with the dead; a necromancer = a person who practices witchcraft, a medium, witch doctor, spiritualist, demonism, fetishism, voodooism, etc; 18:13 perfect = true to God; 18:14 suffered = permitted; 19:5 fetcheth a stroke = swings; helve = handle; lighteth = strikes; 19:11 lie in wait = plans to deliberately murder; 19:18 inquisition = investigation; 20:11 tributaries = forced laborers.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Brian Baird (WA) and Rep. Elton Gallegly (CA) · Pray for the President · Country: Tunisia (10 million) in North Africa · Major languages: Arabic and French · Islamic state -- no open ministry for Christ is permitted; strict surveillance of all Christian activities · 99+% Muslim; .3% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for our nation, that it would truly be a Christian nation (Psalms 67).

Optional Reading: Luke 22

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:13

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