The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
he turns it wherever he will. Proverbs 21:1
I saw this bible verse posted on pastor and author David Platt’s FB page and at once I felt deeply comforted in my heart. I think I’ve mentioned before that when I think of God, one of the main things that truly amazes me is His sovereignty. Sovereignty is God’s power to do all that He decides to do. Job proclaimed this clearly when he said to God –
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42.2
When I think about how God is loving, merciful, faithful, gracious and forgiving, it is such an encouragement to know that whatever it is that He wills is exactly what would take place. But seeing that Job, the righteous man of the Old Testament who loved God and yet suffered in ways none of us ever will, most beautifully expressed the meaning of God’s sovereignty adds so much depth to this concept. A depth that most of us are intimidated to even explore.
Several years ago, I came across this quote from Charles Spurgeon:
“The sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which the Christian rests his head.”
I say yes and amen to this yet there are many times I can’t seem to find that pillow. When challenges confront me, even though they represent only a smidgen of a fraction of what Job went through, I still look to find rest in the old rotten pillow of control. I thought I threw that stinky pillow away. Apparently, it can always find its way back to my bed, when I worry about me or those around me; and even when I worry about those who are or will be in authority over me.
The author of Proverbs 21 believed that God’s sovereign hand works in the heart of a leader. At that time, they had kings as leaders. In fact the main author of the book of Proverbs was a king himself who had both strong and weak moments during his reign. But here in this verse, he acknowledged that even the most powerful man is under God’s control. We can believe this even today, because as we have seen in biblical history, (and even contemporary history), this has less to do with the king and has more to do with the King of Kings. In God’s mighty hand, any king’s heart is but a stream that He can direct wherever He wishes.
Our world is overflowing with anxiety and believers are not exempt. I’ve come to accept that as long as I’m in this body, my human nature will never give up trying to be in control. Yes, Christ has victoriously and completely paid the price and freed me from the penalty of sin, but His word reminds me that I am daily dependent on His grace and the work of the Holy Spirit for my heart to be changed into trusting Him in all things. And the all things totally includes relying on God’s sovereignty over those who have earthly authority over me. This does not only pertain to government leadership. This also has implications in relationships that we did not choose such as the family we were born into, as well as relationships, positions, and affiliations that we ourselves chose, like marriage, career, church membership, citizenship and others. It is not my intention to minimize the horror of abuse that one might have suffered in any of these situations. Neither do I imply that it is all right to be complacent because God is in control. Not at all! (In my last blog, I marveled at how God used courageous women in Exodus 1&2 to carry out His plan. No complacency there whatsoever). My heart’s desire is simply to bring our gaze back where it belongs: in Christ who is above ALL authority.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Matt 28:18
Let us place our hope in Him who is Sovereign over the universe that He created.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Col 1:15-17
He invites us to come and rest in Him. So grab that pillow and sleep well….
“Nothing in all the vast universe can come to pass otherwise than God has eternally purposed. Here is a foundation of faith. Here is a resting place for the intellect. Here is an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast. It is not blind fate, unbridled evil, man or Devil, but the Lord Almighty who is ruling the world, ruling it according to His own good pleasure and for His own eternal glory.”
― A.W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God