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Now the man who acts presumptuously and will not heed the priest who stands to minister there before the Lord your God, or the judge, that man shall die. So you shall put away the evil from Israel. And all the people shall hear and fear, and no longer act presumptuously. (Deuteronomy 17:12-13)

Obviously, it was important that those who were placed in the position to judge others were to be men of great integrity. Therefore, it was incumbent upon the people to trust that God would raise up such men for the task. But please take note that it was just as important for the people to be of good character; I say that because they were expected to abide by the decisions handed down to them. “You shall do according to what they shall teach…and not turn aside from it” (Deuteronomy 17:10-11). The rabbinical interpretation of this command was, their decisions were to be obeyed even if you thought it wrong.

As we have previously mentioned, if people started doing whatever they felt was right with no regard for established authority, the result would be confusion, division and chaos within the Body. Everyone would be doing what was right in their own eyes and, consequently, there would be many “torahs.” This is why the warning against acting presumptuously is such a strong one — because of the destruction it causes. The Hebrew word translated as “presumptuous” also means “insolence, arrogance.” In other words, this was a person so full of themselves that they felt justified in ignoring the authoritative structure God had ordained in order to do things as they saw fit. Behavior of this sort was viewed as evil and was to be dealt with severely so that no one else might be tempted to follow suit.

As for us, the principle still holds true — we need to respect those God has placed over us in the LORD and honor the direction they give us by walking in it. If you have submitted to the authority of a pastor or ministry, you should do your best to submit to their authority and, should there be a disagreement, act honorably, wisely and humbly — not presumptuously. Making decisions when emotions are running high is never a good idea nor is it advisable to follow someone who is filled with pride. Remember what the Messiah instructed us: everyone who tries to exalt themselves will be humbled but everyone who chooses to humble themselves (by having the heart of a servant) will be exalted in due time.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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