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In Case You Missed It -- Deuteronomy 16:18-18:22, Psalm 107

God promises kings and a great prophet for Israel in today’s Deuteronomy reading. Without a doubt the early church saw Jesus as the prophet like Moses from Deuteronomy 18:15-19 (see Acts 3:22-24, Acts 7:37). Today I want to focus on the commands for the kings that are to lead Israel when the people are safely in their land. A king “must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray” (Deuteronomy 17:17). This command should alarm anyone familiar with Israel’s history. It serves as evidence that Israel’s kings transgressed against God’s early commands for monarchs, including their great kings David and Solomon. Often enough people are confused by God’s seeming silence about the polygamy that characterized the lives of these two revered kings. Perhaps many don’t know this command existed. Maybe we don’t understand the expectation that God’s commands be ubiquitous in the minds and hearts of the people of Israel. Whatever the reason for our misreadings, let us understand; when the original accounts of the kings were written, the writers assumed that the gravity of those kings’ choices would influence the fate of Israel. We need not get too far ahead of ourselves, but the kings’ disobedience to these commands and the problems that Israel faces have a cause and effect relationship. God gives clear commands for kings, though they are relatively sparse, but the kings of Israel still fail, and thus Israel meets with ruin. Thankfully, Israel’s need for a King that will be faithful to one bride alone will be met in the same person that is the prophet like Moses.

Jeremiah Vaught