Friday, October 25, 2013

Lesson 8: Deuteronomy 16:18 – 18:22

Weekly I receive an email from the Presidential Prayer Team.  A religious organization dedicated to bring petitions before the LORD on behalf of our nation. Suggested prayers for our nation, our leaders and our troops keep me up to date on current issues. Every week prayers focus on a specific person from each branch of government. I used this source for tonight’s prayers. My favorite section is Our Nation’s Godly Heritage which helps us remember our nation was conceived in prayer.
 Samuel Colgate (1822-1897), Manufacturer, Philanthropist
The only spiritual light in the world comes through Jesus Christ and through the Inspired Book; redemption and forgiveness of sin alone through Christ. Without His presence and the teachings of the Bible, we would be enshrouded in moral darkness and despair.
In the Bright Spot this week: A new Missouri law has recently gone into effect October 11 that allows public schools and buildings in the state to observe Christmas, or any federal holiday, without restrictions.
State Rep. Rick Brattin of Harrisonville is the bill’s sponsor. House Bill 278 text reads, in part, "No state or local governmental entity, public building, public park, public school, or public setting or place shall ban or otherwise restrict the practice, mention, celebration, or discussion of any federal holiday."
PrayerHeavenly Father, we exalt You and ask Your blessings over our nation today. We praise you for all the ways You shower blessings upon us. May Jesus Christ be praised in our hearts and lives. May He be praised in our president’s life and those of his administration. May Christ be praised in our legislatures, courts, and churches. We honor You and pray that You be honored in our nation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Lesson 8: Deuteronomy 16:18 – 18:22
The Character of Israel’s Leaders
·        Judges must deliver justice (16:18-20; 17:2-7).
·        Rulers must serve in faith (17:14-20).
·        Spiritual leaders must convey God’s words (18:1-22).
Jesus fulfilled all these roles--Judge, King of Kings, Priest, and Prophet

1.     Judges must deliver justice.
 In Exodus 18 Moses judged the people from morning to evening. Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, advised Moses to share the burden; to look “for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe,”

16:18“You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.
Justice was to be made available to all. God expected these men who served in this role to be genuine seekers of truth and of righteousness. Judges were not to “respect persons” which in Hebrew literally means “regard faces.” No preference to family or friends.
Under God’s Law Judges must:
·        not pervert justice
·        not show partiality
·        not accept a bribe
In Israel God's law was national law.
Cases that were too difficult to settle by the judges were brought to the Levites at the Tabernacle. The High Priests used the stones called the Urim  (representing light and excellence) and the Thummim (representing perfection and completion). When not in use, the stones were kept in a pocket behind the breastplate.
Thank you God that believers are judged by Jesus Himself, the one who took all our sin.  

John 5:22,30  22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,
30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.
Godly leaders are the key to our national strength.  Godliness in action is the courageous pursuit of truth and justice. For our own benefit as well as the good of our nation, we must pray for our judges!

2.     Kings and Rulers must serve in faith

The Lord knew the day would come when Israel would ask for a king like the other nations. Instead of trusting God to protect them, the people wanted to king who would build an army and lead the nation to victory.

Warren Wiersbe explains “Israel's first king Saul was never intended to establish a royal dynasty in Israel. The promised Messiah would come from the royal tribe of Judah. Saul was given to the people to chasten them because they rejected the Lord.” God gave them what they asked and let them suffer from their choice.

Restriction on a King
·        not acquire many horses for himself, Don’t go back to Egypt.
·        not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away
·        nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold

King Solomon in his later years violated all three of these restrictions and it led the nation into sin. 1 Kings 11:3 “He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.”

Deuteronomy 17:18-19…”the King shall write for himself a copy of the law of Moses, it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes,”

If the Kings did indeed take the time to write the laws of Moses and read in every day, he would be submissive to God and His law.

 “As the Lord has promised, prayer will transform our nation by transforming individual lives, one heart at a time.”

Let us come to God boldly and consistently, praying for our government leaders!

King David – A man after God’s own heart administered justice and equity to all his people. However, we have a King greater than David.
John 18:37 “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth.” John 19:19 Pilate had the plaque affixed to the cross which read Jesus of Nazareth, Kings of the Jews.

1 Timothy 6:14 Lord Jesus Christ “he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,”

3.     Spiritual leaders must convey God’s words.
·        Levites,
·        Priests,
·        Prophets
The Levites
Day three of our lesson, we read Jacob's third son Levi and his brother Simeon killed all the men and plundered the city of the Hivites, because the prince had defiled their sister. I learned that the judgment on Levi to be set apart from his brothers resulted in the priestly tribe of Levites.
Numbers 39-12 “And you shall give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; 12 “Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the people of Israel instead of every firstborn referring to Egypt …. They shall be mine: I am the Lord.
Levi’s descendants would be scattered in 48 cities throughout Israel, but God in His marvelous grace “set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord to stand before the Lord to minister to him and to bless in his name, to this day.”  Deuteronomy 10:8 
Deuteronomy 18:1-4 Although they received no section of land as the other tribes, they were given the Lord’s food offerings as their inheritance; the firstfruits of grain, wine and oil, and the first fleece of the sheep. Lord is their inheritance, as he promised.
Looking back to Numbers 35:2 The Lord spoke to Moses, “Command the people of Israel to give to the Levites some of the inheritance of their possession as cities for them to dwell in. And you shall give to the Levites pasturelands around the cities.
Numbers 3515 These six cities shall be for refuge for the people of Israel, and for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, that anyone who kills any person without intent may flee there.
The city of refuge represents Jesus.”Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8”
 "The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble"(Psalm 9:9The sinner's only hope is Jesus Christ. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe" Proverbs 18:10
Let’s remember to build up and encourage our spiritual leaders, our pastors and teachers praying for them daily.

Our Great High Priest is Jesus the Son of God who sits in heaven at the right hand of The Father. Our Advocate

Hebrews 4   15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need

Prophets and the Prophet
18:15“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—18b And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.
Jesus our Prophet
As Prophet, Jesus pronounced an end to all our sin. On the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:19) .. they said to him “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.

 Jesus, as the final and sufficient Prophet, came not just proclaiming the Word of God; He is the Word of God. He proclaimed our need to repent and believe on Him (Mark 1:15). And He proclaimed our pardon and forgiveness for sin (Col. 1:14).

The greatest hope for the leadership of our country is found in the prayers and influence of the church. But if the shepherds of the Christian community fail in their task, what hope do we have? Let us always pray for our spiritual leaders!

James 5:16-18 declares, “…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Will you choose to pray faithfully for our leaders?

“Father, thank You for the United States and its government. I pray for the president, the national and local government, the judges, the policemen, the military and all those who are in leadership positions in this country. Please protect them from the evil that is in the world and keep them safe and free from all harm.  Amen”