One of the things that interested me while reading Deuteronomy is found in chapter 17, beginning with v. 14. Moses anticipates a day, after Israel conquers the Promised Land, when they will say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us.”
This indeed happened as recorded in 1 Samuel 8, during the time of the prophet Samuel. He was greatly displeased when they made this request. God was even more displeased, because their request was essentially a rejection of Him as their King. They wanted to move from a Theocracy, where God ruled, to a Monarchy, where a human king ruled. What a sad choice they made.
Here in Deuteronomy God predicted through Moses that this would happen and gave clear instructions about what they should require of a king. The reason for these clear instructions is because man in the place of authority would likely become proud and use his position to take advantage of his people to further his own interests and passions.
In addition, there was always the danger of idolatry, so the challenge given was for the king to write a copy of God’s Law on a scroll, keep it with him and read it daily. This would lead him to revere the Lord his God and follow his law. It would also give him a proper view of himself as being no better than his fellow Israelite.
An impact thought developed in my mind as I reflected on this portion. A regular personal exposure to God’s Word inspires reverence for God and devotion to doing His will. It also prepares the heart to be appreciative when receiving God’s abundant blessing.