Proverbs 19:21

There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

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Do you have plans today? Will they happen? Unless the counsel of the LORD included your plans in His plan for your day, they will not happen. Only His counsel will stand. If His sovereign decrees are against you, there is no confederation or strength to help you.

The wicked say, “Who is lord over us?” (Ps 12:4). But Almighty God is lord over them. They cannot do a thing without God’s counsel having approved it in eternity past. Their haughty plans against His sovereign rule make Him laugh with holy derision (Ps 2:1-4)!

If you dislike this fact, dear reader, you should have chosen birth in another universe with a different god. But if this incredible choice was made for you – and all other choices affecting your life – humble yourself now and worship your glorious Sovereign. The most important thing you can ever do for yourself is to obey and please this great God.

Wicked men invent and devise evil things all day and night in the perverse wrath of their souls (Pr 16:30; Ps 35:20; Mic 2:1; Rom 1:30), but the LORD governs it all for His own praise (Ps 76:10). The only wrath of man allowed to exist is what He has chosen to use. The wrath of the Jews against Jesus Christ was used to bring about the gift of eternal life.

You should say, “If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (Js 4:15). Do not assume living tomorrow, for it is out of your hands (Pr 27:1). You will not brush your teeth tonight without His counsel, for even sparrows cannot fly outside it (Matt 10:29). A business plan is only as good as God’s secret will favors it (Deut 29:29; Jas 4:13-15).

Does daily news of oppression and wickedness in this perverse world bother you? There is a Sovereign higher than they (Eccl 5:8), and He is using them like puppets (Is 10:15). It makes no difference to Him whether it is Alexander the Great or a bully in kindergarten, God’s counsel includes your protection, if you trust and love Him today with godly fear.

What if enemies conspire against you? What if they could harm you? The counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. He laughs at all enemies (Psalm 21:7-13). Pharaoh conspired against Israel, but God’s plan had always been to ruin him (Ex 9:16). Sennacherib conspired against Judah, but God’s plan was to mock and destroy him (Is 10:5-19).

Does the havoc that Satan wrought in Job’s life trouble you? He was no more than a puppet in the total control of your Sovereign LORD (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6). Fear God! Job got twice as much in the end as he had in the beginning, and the trial would have ended much sooner if he had maintained his integrity. Wise men appreciate his ending (Ja 5:11).

But what of good devices? Devise plans in your heart with holy fear, and He may direct your steps to a better ending than you thought (Pr 16:9; Ps 37:4; 84:11). Ruth devised to glean for a living, but God’s counsel was better – marriage to Boaz (Ruth 2:2-3). Esther devised a plan to save her people’s lives, but God gave her all the lives of her enemies.

What of chance events? Even the lot is entirely under His rule (Pr 16:33), and He directed an arrow shot at a venture to a slight crack in a disguised king’s armor (I Kgs 22:34). A fool’s drug-assisted Russian roulette will reveal a wise God’s plan for or against his life. There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD (Pr 21:30).

What of prayer? His eternal counsel saw and included your prayers, so pray with fervent faith, and He will answer you presently by that same counsel (Pr 16:1; Ps 10:17; Is 38:1-5; Phil 2:13). Like David, pray until the baby is dead, but then pray a little longer (II Sam 12:22-24; II Kgs 4:18-37; Mk 5:35-43). Nothing is too hard for the LORD. Only believe!

Religious Jews moved by Satan conspired to destroy Jesus Christ of Nazareth, but God’s plan was fulfilled in perfect detail to redeem His people (Acts 2:22-24; 3:17-18; 4:26-28; 13:26-28). Forty years later the Jews devised a revolt against Rome, but God’s plan brought the greatest tribulation in history and scattered them to the four winds. Glory!

Jews tried to kill Saul of Tarsus when he preached powerfully in Damascus, proving Jesus was the Christ, but God got him out of the city in a basket (Acts 9:19-25). God’s counsel for that converted zealot was to turn the world upside down bringing the gospel to His elect Gentiles (II Tim 2:10). You should always be very thankful (II Thess 2:13).

What will you do with this great God today? His counsel already stands as to what He is going to do with you, and it includes your neglect, your rejection, or your repentance after reading this commentary. Humble yourself and choose life, blessing, and prosperity. Worship Him in total love and reverence, asking Him to put His will in your heart.