Deuteronomy 17

* All sacrifices to be perfect, Idolaters must be slain. (1-7)

Difficult controversies. (8-13) The choice of a king, His

duties. (14-20)

1-7 No creature which had any blemish was to be offered in

sacrifice to God. We are thus called to remember the perfect,

pure, and spotless sacrifice of Christ, and reminded to serve

God with the best of our abilities, time, and possession, or our

pretended obedience will be hateful to him. So great a

punishment as death, so remarkable a death as stoning, must be

inflicted on the Jewish idolater. Let all who in our day set up

idols in their hearts, remember how God punished this crime in

8-13 Courts of judgment were to be set up in every city. Though

their judgment had not the Divine authority of an oracle, it was

the judgment of wise, prudent, experienced men, and had the

advantage of a Divine promise.
14-20 God himself was in a particular manner Israel's King; and

if they set another over them, it was necessary that he should

choose the person. Accordingly, when the people desired a king,

they applied to Samuel, a prophet of the Lord. In all cases,

God's choice, if we can but know it, should direct, determine,

and overrule ours. Laws are given for the prince that should be

elected. He must carefully avoid every thing that would turn him

from God and religion. Riches, honours, and pleasures, are three

great hinderances of godliness, (the lusts of the flesh, the

lusts of the eye, and the pride of life,) especially to those in

high stations; against these the king is here warned. The king

must carefully study the law of God, and make that his rule; and

having a copy of the Scriptures of his own writing, must read

therein all the days of his life. It is not enough to have

Bibles, but we must use them, use them daily, as long as we

live. Christ's scholars never learn above their Bibles, but will

have constant occasion for them, till they come to that world

where knowledge and love will be made perfect. The king's

writing and reading were as nothing, if he did not practise what

he wrote and read. And those who fear God and keep his

commandments, will fare the better for it even in this world.
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