The King Of Hearts




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

Proverbs 21:1


  1. With the effeminate, milquetoast preaching of today, most men have no idea God overrules hearts.
  2. The Sovereign of the universe owes no respect to the human heart or the emotional choices thereof.
  3. Men can scream and squabble over the free will of man or man’s free moral agency all they want!
  4. From a human perspective, God magnifies His sovereignty by using the hearts of men for Himself!
  5. God does not put evil in men’s hearts, because there is enough evil there already (James 1:13-16).
  6. Because men sin freely and willfully, God righteously judges them (Acts 2:23; 4:28; Rom 9:18-20).
  7. There is no confusion between God’s secret and revealed wills – obey what is revealed (Deut 29:29)!
  8. If the Fatalist says all depends on God, use your wits and do what you can in the name of God. Glory!
  9. What a boon to prayer! If God controls kings’ hearts, he can move nations for us (Jeremiah 29:4-7).
  10. If God can move a king’s heart, which is not used to submitting to anyone, then He can move yours!
  11. God can enlarge a king’s heart with wisdom or give a king a beast’s heart (I Kings 4:29; Dan 4:16).
  12. And if He can do so to a king’s heart, far more of a heart than you have, then He can move yours!

The Fact of the Matter

  1. God put terror into the hearts of the cities of Canaan to protect Jacob and his sons (Gen 35:5).
  2. God hardened the heart of Pharaoh, so He could destroy him for His own honor and glory and perpetual reputation (Ex 4:21; 7:3,13; 9:12,16,35; 10:1,20; 11:10; 14:4,8,17; Rom 9:17).
  3. God put fear into the hearts of the Canaanites to cause them to turn their backs to make it easier for His people to destroy them (Exodus 15:16; 23:27; Deut 11:25; II Chron 17:10).
  4. God promised to restrain the hearts of Israel’s neighbors three times a year (Exodus 34:24).
  5. God hardened the heart of Sihon, king of Heshbon, to die in battle against Israel (Deut 2:30).
  6. God hardened the hearts of all the cities of Canaan to be destroyed by Joshua (Josh 11:20).
  7. Samson’s heart craved the woman of Timnath, but God’s was against Philistia (Judges 14:4).
  8. Eli’s sons did not respond to his warning, because the Lord would kill them (I Samuel 2:25).
  9. When God would punish Israel, He moved David’s heart by Satan (II Sam 24:1; I Chr 21:1).
  10. God stirred up an adversary to Solomon after he turned from God to women (I Kings 11:14).
  11. Rehoboam’s haughty and wicked spirit was from the Lord to divide Israel (I Kings 12:15).
  12. God sent a lying spirit to deceive Ahab’s heart to go to battle and be killed (I Kgs 22:20-23).
  13. God stirred up the kings of Assyria to carry Israel captive for her disobedience (I Chr 5:26).
  14. God stirred up the Philistines and Arabians to punish Jehoram for his sins (II Chr 21:16-17).
  15. Amaziah would not listen to a warning, because God needed to judge Judah (II Chron 25:20).
  16. When God chooses to chasten or judge, He can give men up to their hearts’ lusts (Ps 81:12).
  17. God actually hardened the Egyptians’ hearts to make life miserable for Israel (Ps 105:25).
  18. God hardened the hearts of most of Israel, because of their wicked rebellion (Isaiah 6:9-13; 44:18-20; 63:17; Matthew 13:10-17; John 12:39-40; Deuteronomy 29:4).
  19. The king of Assyria thought one thing in his heart, but God used him for another (Is 10:7).
  20. Israel rightly confessed that God had hardened their heart against His fear (Isaiah 63:17).
  21. The crowd of zealous Jews at Stephen’s trial had their hearts cut by his words (Acts 7:54).
  22. When men reject God, He hardens their reprobate hearts (Rom 1:21,24,26,28; Eph 4:17-19).
  23. God sends strong delusion to deceive the hearts of truth-rejecting Catholics (II Thess 2:9-12).
  24. Ten kings of Europe did not know why they gave their kingdoms to the beast (Rev 17:17).
  25. God knows and tries the hearts of all men – He regards no human laws of privacy or secrecy (I Kings 8:39; I Chron 28:9; Psalm 7:9; 44:21; 139:4; Proverbs 15:11; 17:3; 21:2; Jer 17:10; Luke 16:15; 22:31-34; Acts 1:24; 15:8; Romans 8:27; I Thess 2:4; Heb 4:12-14; Rev 2:23).
  26. God punishes and rewards men according to their hearts (Deuteronomy 5:29; 29:14-28; 30:9-10; I Samuel 7:3; I Kings 2:4; 8:23; 11:9; II Chronicles 6:14,30; 16:9; Psalm 18:26; 73:1; 36:10; 24:3-6; 15:1-5; 7:10; 125:4; Proverbs 11:20; 6:16-19; Ezekiel 14:1-11).

The Blessing of the Matter

  1. God kept King Abimelech from touching Sarah through either his heart or body (Gen 20:6).
  2. God overruled the wicked hearts of Joseph’s brothers to save the whole family (Gen 50:20).
  3. God prepared Saul to be king and the men with him by changing their hearts (I Sam 10:9,26).
  4. God enlarged the heart of Solomon, and not yours, according to His own will (I Kings 4:29).
  5. Elijah prayed for God to send fire down from heaven and revive their hearts (I Kings 18:37).
  6. David blessed the great God for putting generous giving into their hearts (I Chron 29:9,14).
  7. In the days of Hezekiah, God prepared the hearts of His people (II Chronicles 29:36; 30:12).
  8. God stirred up the heart of Cyrus to rebuild Jerusalem (II Chron 36:22; Ezra 1:1; Is 45:13).
  9. Men’s hearts are desperately wicked, but God restrains the wrath He does not use (Ps 76:10).
  10. God put into the heart of Artaxerxes to beautify God’s house in Jerusalem (Ezra 6:22; 7:27).
  11. God put into Nehemiah’s heart things to do for the restoration of Jerusalem (Neh 2:12; 7:5).
  12. David knew that God prepared the hearts of His people even to pray to the Lord (Ps 10:17).
  13. God promised to put His fear in the hearts of His people (Jeremiah 32:40; Ezekiel 36:26).
  14. The revival under the preaching of Haggai was by the Lord working in hearts (Haggai 1:14).
  15. The crowd of zealous Jews on the Day of Pentecost had their hearts pricked (Acts 2:37).
  16. He opened Lydia’s heart so she believed the preaching of a stranger named Paul (Ac 16:14).
  17. Titus had exceptional care for the Corinthians by God putting it into his heart (II Cor 8:16).
  18. If you have any will to do the good pleasure of God, it is because He put it in you (Phil 2:13).
  19. When God grants repentance to a man, he can be delivered from the devil (II Tim 2:25-26).
  20. The new covenant includes the term of God writing His laws in the hearts (Heb 8:10-12).

The Prayer for the Matter

  1. If God leaves your heart for a while, you will quickly reveal your sinfulness (II Chr 32:31).
  2. You are capable of committing any sin, no matter how evil, if God were to leave you to yourself and withdraw His holy restraint (Jer 17:9; Rom 7:8; I Cor 10:12).
  3. If the preparations of the heart in man are from the Lord, we should beg Him (Prov 16:1).
  4. Jesus prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail entirely during Satan’s sifting (Luke 22:31-34).
  5. David prayed for God to prepare the hearts of Israel and keep thoughts in them (I Chr 29:18).
  6. Solomon prayed for God to incline their hearts toward Him and His ways (I Kings 8:57-58).
  7. After his heinous sins, David prayed for God to give a clean heart once again (Psalm 51:10).
  8. David was confident God would enlarge his heart in more affection toward God (Ps 119:32).
  9. David prayed God to incline his heart toward truth and away from covetousness (Ps 119:36).
  10. David asked for his heart to be sound in God’s statutes, which implies the need (Ps 119:80).
  11. Along with watching over his lips, David asked God to keep his heart from evil (Ps 141:4).
  12. Let us pray for God to work in us that which is wellpleasing in His sight (Hebrews 13:21).


  1. Your heart is the most important part of your being and from which come the issues of life (Pro 4:23).
  2. It is out of the abundance of the heart that our words and our deeds come (Matt 12:34-35; 15:10-20).
  3. You should glory in the sovereign power of our God over the hearts of even the wickedest men.
  4. You should rejoice in the sovereign power of our God to open the hearts of men to Christ and truth.
  5. You should prayer for the sovereign power of God to enlarge your heart and incline it toward heaven.
  6. Stop right now whatever you are doing, and beg God to keep your heart, enlarge it, and instruct it!
  7. Should you wait for God to move your heart to do His will? No! Work it out right now (Phil 2:12)!

For Further Study:

  1. Proverb Commentary: “Proverbs 16:1,” which deals with God’s preparation of the heart and tongue in men.
  2. Proverb Commentary: “Proverbs 21:1,” which deals with God’s control and direction of even kings’ hearts.
  3. Sermon Outline: “The Heart of David,” covers David’s exceptional heart and how he kept it to God’s glory.
  4. Sermon Outline: “A Pure Heart,” covers all the aspects of heart religion and how to improve and increase it.