September 26, 2023

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THE HEART OF KINGS, JUDGES ARE IN HIS HAND

IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.

TOPIC: THE HEART OF KINGS, JUDGES, ARE IN HIS HAND

SERMON BY-:
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM

“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)

ancient times, nations often called their kings gods. None could call them to account. If they chose war, the country gave up its men. If they imposed heavy taxes, the country paid. If they were wise and just, the country prospered in safety.

In our day, kings don’t rule, but presidents, Prime ministers and Head of State/Government have immense power, so the character and ability of such leaders matter hugely.

When God chooses to bless a country, He gives it a good, strong, wise king. When He judges a land, He says, “I will make boys their rulers, and infants shall rule over them”
(Isaiah 3:4).

But God’s power goes further than giving a good or bad ruler. He turns a king’s heart in whatever direction He wishes. Solomon uses an illustration from ancient irrigation methods, where farmers opened or closed gates leading to irrigation channels, sending water this way or that. As easily as a gate could be opened to give water, or closed, so God holds the king’s heart in His hand, to turn it right or left. When God chose to judge Israel, He sent a lying spirit into the mouths of His prophets to encourage King Ahab to go to war with Syria. Then, as God’s true prophet Micaiah foretold, Ahab was killed in battle, and all Israel was scattered (I Kings 22).

Since the king’s heart is in the Lord’s hand, Paul also instructs the Christian diaspora in Ephesus to pray for kings.

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way”
(I Timothy 2:1-2).

The reality behind our prayers for kings brings great comfort. The Lord reigns. Assyria is a mere rod in God’s hand (Isaiah 10:5), and the nations are but a drop in the bucket (Isaiah 40:15).

God overrules all the plans of earthly rulers, be they righteous or wicked, for the accomplishment of his own wise and good designs.

Think about that for a moment! God has reserved the right to override the will of a nation’s leader and judges, if need be, to see that His people are governed according to His will.

Brethren, the affairs of this world are neither tangled, nor confused, nor perplexing to Him who seeth the end from the beginning. To him all things are in due course and order, and before him all forces keep rank and file. God is in all, and rules all. In the least as well as in the greatest, Jehovah’s power is manifested.

God is the dictator of destinies and appoints both means and ends. He is the King of kings, ruling rulers and guiding counsellors.

Our main point is that God rules mortal life; and he does so, first, as to its term — “Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth?” He rules it.

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD: God holds and can guide the human heart. If God can do this with someone as powerful and noble as a king, He can do this with any man or woman He chooses.

i. “Thus he turned the heart of Pharaoh to Joseph; of Saul to David; of Nebuchadnezzar to Jeremiah; of Darius to Daniel; of Cyrus, and afterwards of Alexander the Great, to the Jews; of some of the Roman persecutors to the primitive Christians.” (Trapp)

This should build our faith that God can guide and change hearts. Sometimes we despair when we see the stubbornness and hardness of man’s heart against God and His will, but the king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD and He can guide it wherever He wishes.

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the LORD weighs the hearts.

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: By nature, we justify ourselves. Sometimes we do this in sincerity, sometimes with deception, but stubborn pride makes us generally think every way of a man is right in his own eyes.

But the LORD weighs the hearts: Men and women are confident in their own way, but God knows. We justify things according to our hearts – “It was in my heart” or “I must follow my heart” or “In my heart, I know” – but God weighs the hearts of men and women, knowing that the heart itself doesn’t justify anything.

God put terror into the hearts of the cities of Canaan to protect Jacob and his sons (Gen 35:5).
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; Romans 9:17).

When God chooses to chasten or judge, He can give men up to their hearts’ lusts (Psalm 81:12).
God actually hardened the Egyptians’ hearts to make life miserable for Israel (Psalm 105:25).

“The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But deliverance is of the LORD”

The horse is prepared for the day of battle: In the days these proverbs were written, the effective use of the horse in the war could be overwhelming against the enemy. These horses had to be trained; it was wise to prepare the horse for the day of battle.

But deliverance is of the LORD: Though it is wise to make the best preparations for battle, ultimately one should not trust in horses or preparation, but in God Himself. Deliverance is of the LORD, not only of horses and preparation.

SHALOM!

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