Continuing in the directions that Moses is giving the people of Israel before they take possession of the promised land, Moses gives this instruction in chapter 17.
14 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, "Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us," 15 be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, "You are not to go back that way again."
Moses instructions about having a king rule over Israel is interesting to me. First of all, it would be many generations before Samuel would anoint Saul as the first king to rule God's chosen people. But God knew what His people would want. He knew that they would want to be like the other nations around them. There is something about our nature that compels us to want to be like others. To fit in. To want to look like everyone else. That is still true today.
Our girls are headed out today for their first day of pre-school. So we stand on the cusp of a new chapter in their lives which includes education, socialization, personal growth, expanding their world, etc. It also includes the possibility of conformity. We don't know what kids will be in their class or what influence these kids will have on them, maybe not this year in pre-school, but soon. Sooner than we want to admit. Who will they choose as king? Will they want to be like other nations or will they choose Christ to be king in their lives?
I also like the admonition that the king should not return to Egypt, for the Lord says "You are not to go back that way again." How many of us, having been brought out of Egypt want to return. We don't remember the slavery. We don't remember the oppression. What we remember is the security and the things that the Egyptians have that we want. We have freedom but we want slavery. We have a new leader, we want to go back to that familiar Pharaoh.
May we all live as free men. May we not go back that way again.