They brought out the king’s son, put the crown on him, gave him the testimony, and made him king. Jehoiada and his sons anointed him and cried, “Long live the king!” – 2 Chronicles 23:11
When Jehoiada, the high priest, acknowledged Joash as the new king of Judah (before all of the people) he placed a crown upon his head and then put the “testimony” in his hands. Though commentators may differ on the meaning of “testimony,” it appears from a reference in Deuteronomy 17:18 (“When he is seated on his royal throne, he is to write a copy of this instruction for himself on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests.”) that the testimony would have been a copy of the Law of God. This passage even goes further and states that the newly coronated king would have had to write the Law out, by hand, in front of all the people.
What is the meaning of this? It seems that God intended for the leaders of His people to rule by His authority and not their own. In fact, all earthly authority is “derived.” Organizations … even nations … may crown their leaders, but true authority can only be bestowed by God Himself. Neither scepter nor title, neither crown nor position make the leader. Godly leadership comes from adherence to divine truth. This is the only position where justice and meets love and wisdom reigns.
The only safe ruler is he who has learned to obey willingly. – Thomas Kempis