Sabbath, February 9, 2019

Lesson 6 – The King’s Responsibilities

“Before man can belong to the kingdom of Christ, his character must be purified from sin and sanctified by the grace of Christ…. Christ longs to manifest His grace, and stamp His character and image upon the whole world…. He came to establish a kingdom of righteousness, and He would not be bought; He would not abandon His purpose. This earth is His purchased inheritance, and He would have men free and pure and holy.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 27.

The anointed of the Lord

1. According to the Lord’s instruction, were the kings of Israel to be established by self-appointment or popular acclamation? What education was the selected individual to receive before becoming king?
1 Samuel 10:1; 16:12, 13 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?… 16:12And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. 

“God permits men to be placed in positions of responsibility.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 484.

“Earnest efforts should be made to present before men and women the example that Christ has left them in His life of sacrifice. He laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and yielding up His high position as Commander of the heavenly host, He clothed His divinity with humanity, and for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might come into possession of eternal riches.” –Review and Herald, September 19, 1899.

“Candidly and seriously we are to consider the question, Have we humbled ourselves before God, that the Holy Spirit may work through us with transforming power? As children of God, it is our privilege to be worked by His Spirit. When self is crucified, the Holy Spirit takes the broken-hearted ones, and makes them vessels unto honor…. Jesus Christ will make such men and women superior in mental, physical, and moral power. The graces of the Spirit will give solidity to the character.” –(The Southern Review, December 5, 1899) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,
vol. 1, p. 366.

2. What respect did the people have for the king, knowing that he was the Lord’s anointed? See 1 Samuel 24:1-7; 26 for the circumstances of the examples. 
Psalm 132:17 There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.
1 Samuel 24:6; 26:16 And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord…. 26:16This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the Lord liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the Lord’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.

“David ought not to have distrusted God for one moment. He had cause for trusting in Him: he was the Lord’s anointed, and in the midst of danger he had been protected by the angels of God; he had been armed with courage to do wonderful things; and if he had but removed his mind from the distressing situation in which he was placed, and had thought of God’s power and majesty, he would have been at peace even in the midst of the shadows of death; he could with confidence have repeated the promise of the Lord, ‘The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed.’ Isaiah 54:10.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 657.

Prophecy and instructions

3. Had the Lord already known that Israel would ask for a king to lead them? What had Moses instructed the people concerning this, according to the Lord’s word?
Deuteronomy 17:14, 15 When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; 15Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

“The Lord foresaw that Israel would desire a king, but He did not consent to a change in the principles upon which the state was founded. The king was to be the vicegerent of the Most High. God was to be recognized as the Head of the nation, and His law was to be enforced as the supreme law of the land….

“The king was not to be an absolute monarch, but was to hold his power in subjection to the will of the Most High. This address was recorded in a book, wherein were set forth the prerogatives of the prince and the rights and privileges of the people. Though the nation had despised Samuel’s warning, the faithful prophet, while forced to yield to their desires, still endeavored, as far as possible, to guard their liberties.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 603, 611.

“While a monarchial form of government for Israel had been foretold in prophecy, the regulation had been established that only those should be raised to the throne who were chosen by Jehovah Himself. The Hebrews still so far respected the authority of God as to leave the selection entirely to His hands.” –Signs of the Times, July 20, 1882.

4. What were the kings and all other leaders to have and to study? What else did the prophet Samuel prepare as special guidelines for the king? 
Deuteronomy 17:18, 19; 31:9 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: 19And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:… 31:9And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and unto all the elders of Israel.
1 Samuel 10:25 Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.

“Directions were given that he who should sit on the throne of Israel should ‘write him a copy’ of the statutes of Jehovah ‘in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites.’ ‘It shall be with him,’ the Lord said, ‘and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.’ Deuteronomy 17:18-20….

“Samuel then set before the people ‘the manner of the kingdom,’ stating the principles upon which the monarchial government was based, and by which it should be controlled.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 52, 611.

No confidence in human beings

5. What did the people want when they asked for a king? However, what did the Lord want for them?
1 Samuel 8:20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
Deuteronomy 17:16, first part But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses:…
Psalms 20:7; 146:3 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God…. 146:3Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
Isaiah 33:22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.

“Before there could be any hope of prosperity for Israel they must be led to repentance before God. In consequence of sin they had lost their faith in God and their discernment of His power and wisdom to rule the nation–lost their confidence in His ability to vindicate His cause. Before they could find true peace they must be led to see and confess the very sin of which they had been guilty. They had declared the object of the demand for a king to be, ‘That our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.’ Samuel recounted the history of Israel, from the day when God brought them from Egypt. Jehovah, the King of kings, had gone out before them and had fought their battles. Often their sins had sold them into the power of their enemies, but no sooner did they turn from their evil ways than God’s mercy raised up a deliverer. The Lord sent Gideon and Barak, and ‘Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelt safe.’ Yet when threatened with danger they had declared, ‘A king shall reign over us,’…” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 614, 615.

6. What instruction was given concerning the marriage of the king? What happened when this principle was disregarded?
Deuteronomy 17:17, first part Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away:…
1 Kings 11:1, 2, 4 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; 2Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love…. 4For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the
heart of David his father.

“God commanded Moses to warn the people against their having a plurality of wives. ‘Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away.’” –Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, p. 395.
“In connection with this instruction the Lord particularly cautioned the one who might be anointed king not to ‘multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away:…” –Prophets and Kings, p. 52.
“Solomon’s course brought its sure penalty. His separation from God through communication with idolaters ruined him. As he cast off his allegiance to God, he lost the mastery of himself. His moral efficiency was gone, as power is gone from a paralytic. His fine sensibilities became blunted, his conscience seared. Association with idolaters corrupted his faith. The instruction that God had given to serve as a barrier for his safety–‘neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold’–was disregarded,
and Solomon gave himself up to the worship of false gods. He became the tool of Satan and a slave to impulse.” –Review and Herald, December 21, 1905.

Dangers of wealth and pride

7. What other instruction was given? What was its purpose?
Deuteronomy 17:17, second partNeither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
Jeremiah 9:23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches. Mark 10:24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

“‘Neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.’

“True goodness is accounted of Heaven as true greatness. The condition of the moral affections determines the worth of the man. A man may have property and intellect, and yet be valueless, because the glowing fire of goodness has never burned upon the altar of his heart, because his conscience has been seared, blackened and crisped, with selfishness and sin. When the lust of the flesh is controlling the man, and the evil passions of the carnal nature are permitted to rule, skepticism in regard to the realities of the Christian religion is encouraged, and doubts are expressed, as though it was a special virtue to doubt.” –Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, pp. 395, 396.

“They [the disciples] had been taught to look upon the rich as the favorites of heaven; worldly power and riches they themselves hoped to receive in the Messiah’s kingdom….
“‘Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!…’” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 393, 394.

8. How was a person who was selected as king to regard himself in relation to the people? Similarly, what did the Lord say about all who receive responsibilities among His people?
Deuteronomy 17:20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
1 Samuel 15:17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel?
Mark 10:42, 43 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister.
“… Foreseeing the perils that would beset those who might be chosen as rulers of Israel, gave Moses instruction for their guidance. Directions were given that he who should sit on the throne of Israel should ‘write him a copy’ of the statutes of Jehovah ‘in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites.’ [Deuteronomy 17:18-20 quoted.]” –Prophets and Kings, p. 52.

For additional study

2 Samuel 5:1-3
2 Chronicles 32:25
Deuteronomy 28:7
“… The Lord, foreseeing the perils that would beset those who might be chosen as rulers of Israel, gave Moses instruction for their guidance.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 52.
“The part which Joseph acted in connection with the scenes of the gloomy prison, was that which raised him finally to prosperity and honor. God designed that he should obtain an experience by temptations, adversity, and hardships, to prepare him to fill an exalted position.” –Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, p. 146; Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 1097.
“The children of Israel were to occupy all the territory which God appointed them…. But it was God’s purpose that by the revelation of His character through Israel men should be drawn unto Him. To all the world the gospel invitation was to be given. Through the teaching of the sacrificial service Christ was to be uplifted before the nations, and all who would look unto Him should live…. As the numbers of Israel increased they were to enlarge their borders, until their kingdom should embrace the world.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 290.