The Wisdom of a King

Have you ever considered the enormous pressure needed for a National Leader? After seeing the manner in the expectations that many people place on their national leader, it seems to me that they need to be an expert in various fields and when making a mistake, everything is in the spotlight. Many times that spotlight is magnified and great criticism comes. In considering this, I was reminded of the expectations of the Kings of the Old Testament. Notice the description given by Marvin Sweeney in his blog entitled, “The Rights and Duties of Kingship in Israel.”


“The kings of Israel and Judah were believed to serve as Yhwh’s agents to rule the nation. They were expected to observe his covenant and laws, to defend the nation and engage in offensive war when deemed necessary, and to rule the people with justice (mishpat) and righteousness (tsedaqah). Although they were granted wide powers to carry out these tasks, the ancients believed that the kings would suffer divine punishment if they violated the covenant and laws. Yhwh’s prophets would generally announce such judgment against wayward kings when the court officials and priests failed to act.

Biblical law codes provide some instruction about kingship. The people had to respect the office of the monarch: Exod 22:27 forbids the people from cursing G-d or the prince (nasi, a term sometimes used for the monarch). But more important, the book of Deuteronomy provides many rules to limit the king’s power (Deut 17:14-20): the king must be from the people of Israel and chosen by their deity; he must not multiply horses for himself or send the people back to Egypt to acquire them; he must not multiply wives for himself; and he must not acquire excessive silver and gold for himself. The king is to study the Torah daily under the supervision of the levitical priests so that he might observe Yhwh’s commandments properly and understand his proper role as king. 2Kgs 22 portrays King Josiah’s officers reading a newly discovered Torah scroll to him, and he subsequently declares a program of religious reform and national restoration in Judah and Israel (2Kgs 23:1-31).














According to the Torah, kings were not in charge of the judicial system. Deut 16:18-17:20 calls for an independent judiciary of officers and priests in which the high priest serves as the chief justice. Consequently, the kings of Israel are subject to Yhwh’s law via an earthly court. And when these courts failed, the prophets stepped in. When David commits adultery with Bathsheba and engineers the murder of her husband, the prophet Nathan condemns him, although Yhwh forgives David when he repents (2Sam 12). When Ahab condemns Naboth to death on false charges of sedition against the monarchy in order to seize his property in Jezreel, Elijah condemns both Ahab and his dynasty, although when Ahab repents, Elijah grants him the mercy to die so that he does not see the downfall of his family (1Kgs 21).




One thing I know for the Kings of the Old Testament and very much for the National Leaders in our current world is that the Leader be familiar with leading the country economically. One of those Kings of the Old Testament very familiar with that and successful in that was Solomon. A big reason for his success was that when God approached in regards to desiring to giving him great blessings, the only thing Solomon desired was Wisdom. As a result, God blessed him in every other way, but the root of it was wisdom. Also, it is worth mentioning during this election time of year to be respectful of those in authority over us and be mindful to pray for them. 




This Sunday, we will dive into the head and heart of the wisdom of Solomon to discover real Wisdom in regards to putting, “FIRST THINGS FIRST. Join us this Sunday at Calvary as we continue the series entitled, “FIRST THINGS FIRST.” Please bring someone with you.






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