Proverbs 21:1

The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.


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Almighty God has total rule over men’s hearts, even kings’ hearts. As easily as He directs rivers back and forth as they move water toward the sea, and as easily as a farmer directs water by channels and sluices for the benefit of his fields, so God turns the hearts of kings any direction He desires to accomplish His holy purposes. Let the LORD be magnified!

Knowing this fact, you should pray confidently for kings and all in authority, knowing God can and does direct their hearts and decisions (I Tim 2:1-2; Jer 29:4-7). Esther knew the most powerful influence she had on her king-husband was prayer (Esth 4:16). Nehemiah also prayed in preparation for soliciting the King of Persia (Neh 1:4,11; 2:1-6).

Knowing this fact, you should submit to their laws, knowing they and their decisions are controlled and directed by the LORD for His glory and your benefit (Rom 13:1-7; Isaiah 49:23). Just as legislators often write tax laws to implement policy or grant preferential favor to segments of the nation, God moves those legislators for His will and your profit.

Knowing this fact, you should not marvel or worry about rulers perverting judgment and justice in a nation. Though a nation’s rulers are in high positions of authority, God is much higher than they are. He knows exactly what they are doing; He can alter their choices and power at anytime; He will judge them (Eccl 5:8; Ps 82:1-8; Dan 2:21).

Knowing this fact, you should understand He totally controls lesser men and simpler circumstances, so trust Him fully and wait for His mercy (Pr 16:9; Ruth 2:3; Jas 4:13-15). He even rules chance events with no regard for statistical probability (Pr 16:33). There is no reason for you to worry about a boss or a family member or enemy, for He can easily cause a change in any man’s heart that will entirely alter the situation you grieve over.

When the Roman Empire collapsed in 476 A.D. and ten nations rose from its ruins (Dan 7:24; Rev 17:12-13), God put in their hearts to fulfill His will and direct their nations to support the popes and the revived form of the Roman Empire (Rev 17:17). It did not matter for what selfish or fearful purposes they supported papal ambitions, they did it because God put the idea in their hearts. And when it had served His grand purpose, He changed their hearts again (Rev 17:16). Babylon fell, as prophesied by the same LORD!

Such sovereign rule over kings’ hearts was nothing new, for He had done it from the beginning. He hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order to get glory over him and Egypt (Ex 4:21; 14:4,17). Why else would a man take his chariot down into the Red Sea after ten plagues in the land of Egypt! What a fool! Beware reader, be not highminded, but fear.

He hardened the heart of Sihon, king of the Amorites, to destroy him in battle (Deut 2:30). He hardened David’s heart to number Israel by turning him over to Satan for a while (II Sam 24:1; I Chr 21:1). He exposed Hezekiah’s heart by leaving it to its own pride (II Chr 32:31). He played with Ahab by lying to him by His own prophet and then sending a lying spirit to his prophets (I King 22:15,22). And the King of Assyria was no more than an axe or saw in the LORD’s hand, though he had no such idea (Is 10:5-15).

The great God removed the lusts of kings for the land of Israel three times a year, when all the men attended the three annual feasts (Ex 34:24). But he also hardened the hearts of those same kings to be destroyed in battle against Israel (Josh 11:20). He gave a new heart to Saul and great largeness of heart to Solomon to prepare them to be kings (I Sam 10:9; I Kings 4:29). But He gave Nebuchadnezzar a beast’s heart for seven years to humble him, and He did not even ask the poor king’s permission to do it (Dan 4:16-17).

Whether Adolph Hitler, President Trump, or Vladimir Putin, it does not matter – the LORD controls their hearts. You should pray for them. If under their rule, you can submit to their laws (unless against God’s laws). You can rest in your Heavenly Father’s loving but mighty arms, for they cannot touch you without His permission (Ps 105:14-15).

Dear reader, be thankful the LORD is sovereign over the human heart, because if he had not changed your heart, you would be slobbering to a totem pole somewhere (Is 44:9-20). He changed Lydia’s heart to pay close attention to Paul’s preaching (Acts 16:14). Give God the glory, and ask Him to continue to change your heart (I Kings 8:58; Psalm 51:10; 119:32,36; 141:4; Isaiah 63:17; Philippians 2:13; II Tim 2:24-26; Hebrews 13:21).