Today’s devotional thought is taken from Proverbs 21:1-3 where Solomon teaches his son a doctrine we should all embrace: God is Sovereign! God is the Ruler of His creation; He has power and authority over everything. God is directly involved in the affairs of man, working all things together according to His purpose and for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28-29). That does not mean that God approves the actions and decisions of sinful men; however, the scriptures teach God is able to direct choices that are contrary to His will for His eternal purpose (notice Joseph’s affirmation of this truth in Genesis 50:20).
Let’s turn our focus to today’s proverbs and see how Solomon, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, expounds the Sovereignty of God and the authority of man.
Proverbs 21:1 – “The king’s heart [mind; thoughts; feelings; will] is in the hand [under the authority and dominion] of the LORD, as the rivers [channels; canals; streams] of water: he turneth [bends; turn aside] it whithersoever he will [pleasure; desire; favor].”
All human authority is subservient to the authority of God. Men are not robots; however, they cannot act independent of God. God can and does steer the choices of man to accomplish His plan and purpose. Whether a king, president, governor, pastor or other authority in your life—rest in this: God is sovereign! As a farmer directs water through irrigation canals to his crops, God directs and channels the heart of a king where He wills (21:1b). [Example – Exodus 10:1-2]
Proverbs 21:2-3 reminds us that God knows the heart, motive and purpose in man. We naturally see ourselves better than we are, failing to acknowledge that God weighs what lies within our hearts.
Proverbs 21:2 – “Every way [road; journey; course of life] of a man is right in his own eyes [opinion]: but the LORD pondereth [weighs; measures] the hearts [mind; understanding].”
Finally, we are reminded that the focus of God is the heart of man and not outward ritual.
Proverbs 21:3 – “To do [accomplish] justice and judgment [righteousness; conform to an ethical or moral standard] is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice [offerings].
Outward ritual without inward devotion is hypocrisy. Hypocrites may offer sacrifices of money, service and outward conformity (1 Samuel 16:7), but the heart of the righteous is to obey the Lord.
Dear friend, the hand of God rests upon the authorities in your life. Look past the personalities, flaws and failures and rest confidently in this: God loves you and He will turn the hearts of men to accomplish His best in your life. Trust the Lord and pray for those in authority!