September 20, 2012

Not Swerving Right or Left

Deuteronomy 17:14-20

When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law … And he is to read it all the days of his life …
—Deuteronomy 17:18-19


These verses aren’t warning against right wing or left wing politics; they’re talking about the path that leads to life—the same thing Jesus talks about in Matthew 7:13-14.

There would come a day when Israel would want a king to rule over them. The king would be pulled in every direction (not too different from us)—tempted by money, power, mysterious religions, a variety of beautiful women, and pride that would make him think he was above the law, better than anyone else.

How was the king to guard himself against such temptations, keep himself on an even keel, and his nation on course? By reading the Word of God every day of his life, obeying it and pondering its mysteries. Joshua was told the same thing when he faced the frightening challenge of leading millions of Israelites after the death of Moses (see Joshua 1:1-9). Psalm 119:11 gives the same wise advice: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Read the Bible daily, think about it constantly, make it the formative influence in your life. It’s not easy to make the time and develop the habit for this, but it’s supremely important. Let the Word of God be your straight edge, your ruler.

Thank you, Lord, for the Bible, the Word you have given us. Give us a taste for its stories and eternal truth that show us the way to life. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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