OF THE ELDERS
THE SCHOOL OF
IV. SEVEN LAWS OF THE KING
by Israel C.S.Lim
These 7 laws are for all kingly leaders of God.
There is no exception.
DEUTERONOMY 17:16-20 (NKJ)
RULE 1 - HIS POWER
V16, He shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to
return to Egypt to multiply horses, for Yahweh has said to you, You
shall not return that way again.
This law addresses the handling of power and its pitfalls with 2
important keys. Firstly, the king must have horses which means power,
influence and mighty men to go to battle and to strengthen his ministry,
but he must multiply them for the Kingdom and not for himself. A king
must possess power and not be possessed by power that he becomes
overwhelmed by it. He is to be possessed by God whom he must continually
look to and rely upon. He must not increase horses to the numbers and
strength beyond his ability and grace to handle. He must know his
limits. Saul had some thousands of soldiers, but he took strong men and
valiant men for himself (1Sam 14:52). David instead took the needy and
the broken ones and raised them for the kingdom (1 Sam 22:2). Yet later
he took pride in this power, the 1.3 million soldiers, and was severely
dealt with by God (2 Sam 24).
Secondly, the kingly leader must not cause the people to turn to the
world to increase strength, that is, to use worldly methods. The world
in the scriptures is represented by both Egypt and Canaan. Egypt means
the world of bondage where we were enslaved and have to come out from,
while Canaan means the world of promise that we must go into, to conquer
and to possess. It's the faith and the attitude that make the whole
difference. We must go to the world, not as returning slaves of Egypt
but as victors over Canaan. The leader must not cause the followers to
be beholden to the world's glories and honour, but to look only to God
for wisdom and strength. This is an awesome task that requires wisdom
RULE 2 - HIS WOMEN
V.17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn
This law has the same principle as the first, but applying to a
different aspect of life, women. The fact that God did not specify the
number of wives shows that he is not limited to a specific number but he
must not multiply them to a proportion that's beyond his capacity to
handle. It shows that God is not against polygamy, but instead his
kingly leaders should consider consecrating his marital life to God to
benefit the Kingdom in a greater way, whichever is the way. The warning
is that the excess and abuse of it can turn his heart away from God.
Solomon attempted to handle a thousand. But his failure as mentioned in
1Kings 11 was that he disobeyed God's instruction by loving "many
foreign women", "For surely they will turn your hearts after their
gods". The emphasis was more on the wrong kind of marriage rather than
the number, even though excess can be damaging. Samson on the other
hand, was a serial monogamist who could not handle even 1 heathen wife
at a time. The lesson is clear. God's man must not allow his wives,
whether more or just one, to destroy his ministry. And unbelieving women
are inroads of Satan to turn the hearts of men away from God. One who is
kingly must know his own heart, limitations, strengths and weaknesses.
God expects him to manage his wives well. There is no fixed numbers, but
to each according to his ability and grace, and more importantly, the
right kind. God was angry with David not because he took on one too
many, but because he broke the commandment of taking another man's wife
(2 Sam 12:8).
RULE 3 - HIS WEALTH
V.17 nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.
It is God's desire to prosper his servants. We see this principle
practically in all the lives of his servants, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,
David, Joseph to name just a few, unless there is a specific purpose for
any of them to remain deprived for His glory. Riches give God's leaders
opportunities to demonstrate their undivided loyalty and good
stewardship for others to follow. A steward ought to be well honoured by
it but not carried away by its glitter and bow down to its power. He is
to be a servant to God and His people, not like the heathen king who
multiplies silver and gold for himself. In the books of the Kings, many
of them fell into this pitfall when they became established. The power
of money took control of the kingdom and the king and his people had to
bow down to it, to worship it as an idol, and by the golden calf, live
life and solve problems. In another word, the king and his people were
beholden to the power of money instead of God.
POWER, WOMEN AND WEALTH, they are blessings from God given to His sons
to manage. The notion that having them beyond the minimum necessity
means carnality and evil, and the deprivation of them means holiness, is
but a deception from the pit of hell. The truth is, all God's men must
seek to know their limitations and grace, and the process of obedience
and godly management of these raise God's men to be like their Heavenly
Father, bringing the whole creation to fulfilment. King David, the man
after God's heart, was 'perfected' through these. At the same time, the
abuse of these, no matter how little one has, is sin that will
continually bring destruction to creation. How then are they to be
managed? That will bring us to the other rules.
RULE 4 - HIS DEVOTION
V.18 And it shall be, when he sit on the throne of his kingdom, that he
shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one
before the priests, the Levites. V19 and he shall read it all the days
of his life,
The kingly leader must be thoroughly acquainted with the Word. He must
personally write a copy and read it all the days of his life and rule
according to what is written therein, never turning to the left nor the
right (V20). A serious form of study and a consistent daily devotion
cannot be overstated. When he sits on the throne, which means no matter
how high or how busy he can be, which would be the case, the more he
must give his devotion first to his God and His Word above power, women
and wealth which he must well manage.
RULE 5 - HIS HALLMARK
V.19 that he may learn to fear Yahweh his God
There is a difference between an ordinary believer and a kingly leader.
He knows not just the kindness but also the fear of the Lord well.
Kingly leaders are to rule in the reverential fear of the Lord (2 Sam
23:3). This hallmark which must be evident to all, is the beginning and
instruction of all true wisdom and knowledge (Ps 111:10, Prov 1:7). The
fear of the Lord hates evil, pride and arrogance (Prov 8:13) and thus
keeps him in humility to know that he can be wrong and that there is
always more to learn and advance into. Thus the fear of the Lord keeps
him totally dependant upon God all the time, giving him ever-increasing
wisdom and knowledge to deal with hard problems and new challenges in
life and in ministry.
RULE 6 - HIS LAW
V.19 and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these
It is impossible to have the full truth, and none can lay claim to this.
The Truth is the person Christ Himself (Jn 14:6), and the full truth is
the fullness of Christ. The old and the new Testaments, the law and the
grace, become truths only when unfolded in Christ, who is the mystery
that is being revealed through the ages. All kingly leaders are to walk
in the fullness of all that are revealed to them, to be careful (i.e.
put in conscious effort) to live by every word known to them (Matt 4:4)
without compromising (V20), and at the same time open to new depths and
new revelations of Truth that God will continuously unfold. Do not think
that the old is past and done away with, and the new is here, but rather
the mystery of the old is continually unfolding itself in the grace. One
cannot do without the other.
RULE 7 - HIS BROTHERS
V.20 that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not
turn aside from the commandment to the right hand, or to the left
How we deal with our brothers determines where we stand with them and
with God. The leader of all is first the servant of all. He leads
because of his service and not otherwise. Yet there are those who lead
without knowing how to serve and those who serve without knowing how to
lead. But the kingly leader is like his Elder Brother, the Servant King.
So David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and
that He had exalted His Kingdom for His people's sake (2Sam 5:12). Thus
a kingly leader knows that he is there for the people and not the people
there for him. He knows that he is exalted positionally and
ministerially, with a greater capacity and ability to receive and manage
more, and to lead and set the example, but when it comes to obeying
God's law, he is not higher than any of his humblest followers. To whom
he is sent, he is a servant and a leader, to whom he is not sent, he is
nothing, just a lesser brother. The understanding of this makes one a
great leader and a humble servant of God.
THE KING OF ISRAEL IS NOT LIKE ANY OTHER KINGS.
HE IS BUT THE SERVANT OF GOD.
All these 7 rules are linked and intertwined together, strengthening one
another. Each cannot do without the other. Like jewels set in a kingly
crown, they give to God's chosen, kingly leadership and authority, that
he may prolong his days in his kingdom (ministry), he and his children
(spiritual and natural) in the midst of Israel (Universal Church of
Jesus Christ) (Deut 17:20). Amen.
Ponder over the study prayerfully and honestly. Take note of your
strengths and weaknesses and work on them. If you think you have already
attained, you actually do not have them. If you think you do not have
them, you are beginning to have them.
Copyright © Israel CSL, 1997
email: [email protected]
This page was created on 15 November 1997
Updated on 23 February 1998
This article is made available freely to the public on the condition that it is not altered in any way. Posting of it does not imply endorsement of the poster by the Author, Dr. Israel C. S. Lim.