This week as David continued with the ‘Devoted’ series in Deuteronomy chs 16-17, he challenged us to pray for two things after hearing this sermon:
Pray for justice
Pray for leaders
The Lord is a God of justice. It is central to His character. The Bible teaches that all God’s ways are perfect and just. As children of God, who are made in His image, it is important that we reflect this desire for justice.
Unfortunately, justice does not always seem to be attainable. We don’t have to look far to see acts of injustice occurring, with many around the world today living in fear and oppression. God is always in control. He will restore justice. As His followers, we can obey God by acting justly and praying for justice in our world.
It is also important to pray for leaders and their significant influence over others. Moses recognised the importance of leadership, highlighting different positions of responsibility and their essential characteristics. As the Israelites approached the promised land, Moses spoke of different types of leaders.
The first was a judge. Judges have a pivotal role in bringing order and justice in times of chaos. Judges should be fair to all those who face their judgement:
The prophet Jeremiah spoke God’s word into serious and difficult situations as he tMoses gave warnings on what judges should not do: they should not distort justice, show partiality or take bribes. They should not show favouritism to those with money and power, nor should they act out of selfish ambition. Whilst God has granted authority to individuals to act as judges in line with His teaching, it is important to remember that God is the ultimate judge. There will be a day where everyone, including these appointed judges, will answer to God and He will be just in His judgement.alked about the impending destruction of Jerusalem
Finding rest for your souls is a choice you make for yourself. The people in Jeremiah’s day chose not to walk that way and didn’t find the rest they needed.
The second role of leadership Moses speaks of is a king. In Deuteronomy 17, Moses correctly anticipates that the Israelites will one day appoint a king and gives guidance for what they should consider when they seek someone to take up this role.
God has a perfect plan and it will be fulfilled. Leaders that are appointed are part of this plan. Though we may not know who is the right leader, we can pray that God’s will is carried out and that this person is selected by God. The leader should also be a child of God. This is not always the case when we look at world leaders, however with regards to the Church it is vital that leaders love God with all their heart, living to serve and praise Him. Whether the leader is in the Church or holds authority in society, we should pray for them, that they are chosen by God to carry out His will and that they will love God as God loves each one of us.
In verse 17, Moses warns that a king should not acquire many horses, wives, silver and gold for himself, “lest his heart turn away”. This is linked to greed and pride. These things Moses warns against are symbolic of desires and temptations that we face in everyday life – power, lust and wealth. A good leader should not let their heart be led astray by these earthly things. The heart of a great leader should be one that is full of love for God and others.
Moses gives a final instruction that is essential for a God-chosen king – that they should write a copy of God’s law and meditate on His Word.
There are endless benefits of meditating on God’s word and Moses mentions three here. By doing this, you will learn to:
- Fear the Lord
- Keep humble
- Stay on the right path
These are three things we should pray for, not only for leaders, but for our families, friends and for ourselves as we live to serve and love God.