Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Humility Writing Exercise

When is the last time you wrote something? Well, besides signing your name on a credit card slip.

God used reading and writing to teach kings humility. How did that work? After his coronation, a king of Israel was to borrow a copy of the law from the priests, the tribe of Levi, and then the king was to copy the law onto a scroll. He then kept the personal scroll nearby because God commanded, “[A]nd he is to read it all the days of his life” (Deuteronomy 17:19).  

When kings carried out this command, the exercise of copying God’s commands benefited the king and his subjects. Spending that much time with God and his law, a king could learn to revere God, and intimate knowledge of the decrees allowed any king to become a better leader and more proficient judge.

God declared that kings additionally profited from the copying and the ensuing reading exercise because it was a soul workout, a heart test, a mind strengthening time when a king learned not to “consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the left or to the right” (17:20).

History has indexed infamous heads of states, those who chose power over humility, who chose aggression over compassion, and who chose self over others. In those awful rulers, a wicked pattern took hold, and then evil rulers hoisted themselves above God’s plan, oppressing and sometimes killing their fellowman.

However, God set a standard for godly leaders. God wrote laws on stone that would aid leaders and subjects to love and respect others and their property. He then wanted king-leaders to copy each law, and while the king scratched out the law of God on papyrus, God could inscribe his heart.

Kings weren’t the only ones to receive writing assignments from God. God gave Moses the lyrics to a song and told him to write the song down and teach it to Israel. The song in Deuteronomy 32, reminds Israel of God’s loving-kindness and Israel’s response, which wasn’t always gracious to their caregiver God.

God’s words support every moment of life –that’s what leader Joshua found out. Joshua was instructed, “Do not let the Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” For God’s part of his covenant with Joshua, he promised, “[F]or the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:6-9).

The author of Psalm 119 recognized the advantages of meditating on God’s words: “I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have renewed my life” (vs. 93). In addition, the words of God will help a person focus on the important things in life and bypass the trivial: “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; renew my life according to your word” (vs. 37).

How long has it been since you wrote a scripture that especially meant something to you? Writing and reading aids learning. When it’s nestled in your brain, God can implant the essence of the words into your heart and put them to work in your life.

Want to practice the lessons meant to teach a king humility? This week, copy a favorite Bible verse and keep it nearby. Read it often. Give it time to move from the Bible pages through the avenues of your life.  Then watch for changes as the word journeys from head to heart.

Hunger for Humility (29): “Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart” (Psalm 119:34).

No comments:

Post a Comment