“But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.” Deuteronomy 17:16-17
These were the principles that were given by the Lord for kings that they should live by. They were instructed that they should not multiply for themselves horses, wives and wealth. The horses here speak about power and might, as in the ancient days, the most formidable forces in one’s army is the cavalry. I’ve heard these things said many times and in various ways, that the three principle temptations in any man’s life are exactly these three things – guns, girls and gold; brawn, beauty and bounty; works, women and wealth.
In all honesty, I’ve heard about these three things and have always thought of it as conventional wisdom that we all agree on, but never knew that there was a scripture in the Bible that speaks so specifically about these three areas of temptation. What fascinates me is that these were instructions specifically given to the kings or people who were called to lead and govern. Of course, these areas do not only impact those in authority, but they’re areas of temptation that every person has to face.
The Author of the Word of God understands humans better than anyone else. He’s the Creator, the witness of mankind’s fall to sin, and the One who came up with a solution to sin. If the Lord lays these down as a principle and guideline, then we had better take heed to it. Scripture is replete with examples of those who did not follow these guidelines and found themselves falling in those exact areas. David had many wives and committed adultery and murder. Asa turned to Syria for military help and was rejected by the Lord. Hezekiah became preoccupied with his wealth and sowed the seeds of disaster for his future generation.
What then ought we to do?
1. Stay humble and learn to serve others.
Jesus came not to be served but to serve. If He set such an example for us, then it’s something that we must follow. Serving keeps us humble and helps us maintain a healthy perspective of ourselves. It keeps us down-to-earth so that we don’t get above ourselves.
2. Build our marriages and keep the flames of romance and love burning between husbands and wives.
Whatever we’re not building will regress. This is especially true when it comes to relationships. Set aside alone time for conversation and quality time together. Seek to understand one another’s love language and communicate accordingly. On top of that, bear in mind 1 Corinthians 7:5, and maintain that area of marriage. Remember what Job 31:1 says: “To make a covenant with our eyes not to have wandering eyes.”
3. Finally, live simply and live a giving life.
I’m a strong advocate that after the tithe, a portion of our income should go to the poor and needy and a portion of our income should go to missions and the preaching of the gospel. Scripture also exhorts us to set aside finances for good works. In truth, God doesn’t need our giving. But He has designed kingdom economy to work through us because we’re in desperate need to learn to give. It delivers us and protects us from the spirit of mammon, which is the anti-Christ spirit.
Have a blessed weekend!
Pastor Lim Lip Yong