The Bible is like a manufacturer’s manual, with God the maker of heavens and the earth telling us how to run our lives and how to fix it when things go wrong, as they sometimes do. Our text (Deuteronomy 17:14-20) is pragmatic about the minimum qualifications that a political leader should possess, most especially if he or she is a Christian. Some of these attributes are:
Unconditional Love for God:- The man God will choose to lead His people must of necessity be passionate about his love for God. Verse 15a says, ‘thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose’. To be God’s choice you must be His favourite, except if God wants to punish you and the people! To be His favourite you must exhibit unconditional love for Him. No wonder Job said though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. (Job 13:15). Also, David, one of God’s favourite kings said, as the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (Psalms 42:1-2).
Referential Fear of God:- A political leader must fear God a great deal, perhaps more than any other minister of God. This is mainly because the contending forces are more in the midst of a mixed multitude within which a Christian politician has to operate. Without genuine fear of God the tendency to compromise God’s standard and instructions become very high. The level of the fear of God at which a Christian politician operates must be far higher than the love for the praise and the approval of men, the lucre of office and riches, and all forms of lusts. God emphasized this in Deut 17: 18 and 19: 17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. 18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, then he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: 19 And 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: Saul’s major undoing as a King in Israel was the less than satisfactory level of the fear of God in him, and his crave for popularity with men, whereas, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
A Teachable and Obedient Servant of God:- A Christian politician must be ready to learn from many sources and must obey God, His true Clergies, more experienced people, constituted authorities and the constitution of the land (for as long as the constitution is not against the Word of God). God instructed that His word And 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 – Duet 17:19 No one can go far with the Lord with partial obedience, let alone total disobedience. The consequences of dishonouring God in the presence of a mixed multitude are higher than when it is among the saints. While the saints will still reference God in their heart and accept that the error is human, the mixed multitude will directly accuse God and lightly esteem Him more than the believer that made the mistake. This was the real problem with the error committed by Moses, which prevented him from getting to the Promised Land and the abominable act of David, both of which attracted such an unbelievable quantum of God’s wrath. In 2 Samuel 12: 7 - 14, God sent Nathan to David: ‘And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8 And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. 13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.