Proverbs 21:1 says “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water
- 21:1 The Lord controls the hearts of kings.
- 21:2 No human wisdom, understanding, or counsel is wise enough to stop the plans of the Lord. He always wins.
- 16:1 We may make our preparations, but even our preparations and our words are directed by the Lord.
- 16:9 Wise people understand that our heart will devise our way, but the Lord can and does direct our steps.
- 20:24 Our goings are of the Lord, so we can’t fully understand our way. At the end of the day, the Lord is in charge and we are subject to His ultimate plan.
Several lessons come from these verses:
- The Lord is ultimately in control. No plan of man, no hard-hearted sovereign, no wisdom of this world will stop the Lord from prevailing. He can and will work in such a way that His ultimate plan comes to pass. This should be a great comfort to us when it looks like the king’s heart won’t be changed, our lives are out of control or the enemies of the Lord are too many. We can rest that the Lord is in control.
- The Lord could choose to control every detail of our lives but He doesn’t. Just because the Lord does direct our steps and turn the king’s hearts does not mean that everything a king or a person does in caused by the Lord or is the Lord’s will. He can and has overridden the will of man at times in history (Isa 6:10, Isa 4;21), but just because He does that at times does not mean that that is His normal way of working. There are many times that men do resist the Lord’s will (Deut 1:43, Ps 8;1:11, Matt 23:37, Acts 7:51, 2 Peter 3:9). To say that everything we do is caused and controlled by the Lord would be to make God the author of sin (James 1:13-16). Each of us is given a will be God, and He has chosen to let us use that will to obey the Lord or disobey the Lord. We cannot blame the Lord for causing our sin; we are held responsible (Rom 1:20, 2:1).
- We can trust the Lord. The point of these verses I think is to teach us wisdom, the wisdom that we can and should make our plans and preparations, but the ultimate working of them is up to the Lord. The Lord may choose to change our plans or do things differently than we might prefer, but even when He does we who are God’s people can trust Him and rest in His guidance and sovereign plans (Rom 8:28-29, Eph 1:5).