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Sovereign Simplicity

Deuteronomy 17:16-17
“Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.”

I think the insatiability of the human heart is most clearly expressed not by mafia bosses or moguls or corrupt politicians but by children.

My son Micah is currently obsessed with collecting Pokémon cards, and, recently, I’ve started watching the old television show with him. It’s harmless for the most part, and if you’re not familiar, the story is pretty much about a boy named Ash who wants to become the greatest Pokémon master of all, and each episode follows his whimsical journey of catching as many unique creatures as he can and battling them against other would-be masters. But the genius of the Pokémon creators isn’t in storytelling or novel worldbuilding; it’s in their marketing strategy. The whole mantra of the show’s protagonist is, ‘gotta catch ‘em all!’, which is a striving that’s mirrored by little fans like Micah who try to collect all the cards. Platinum cards, metal cards, holographic cards, enlarged cards—you name it. Yet, in my son’s childish fervor for more, I see a more innocent form of my own ceaseless strivings. The vanity in me that has so often craved more satisfaction or more subscribers or more readers or more money or more influence or more notoriety or more experiences. And without a word from God telling me ‘enough!’, my human heart would continue to vainly strive until it stops beating.

Notice: a godly king is a master of his impulses, not mastered by them. A godly king understands the vanity of acquisitions, recognizing that he’s better off and less distracted with a contented spirit. A godly king has the authority to accumulate whatever he wishes yet reins in his own intemperance first. A godly king has the courage to be meek, which is real power, and the wealth to be poor, which is real sacrifice, and the lofty position to lift others up, which is genuine leadership.

Today, as children of that sort of King, friend, let’s master our cravings for more by contentment in Him.