God’s Sovereignty and Our Presidents’ Heart

HeartonBible In light of the well known positions as well as recent remarks by our new President, there is great comfort to be had, as always, in being reminded that God is still on the throne, still working out His decrees for His glory, in His timing, and for the good of those who are loving Him.

For the past few months I have been looking at the Proverbs, and, according to our dear Mr. Spurgeon, when it comes to commentaries there is no better work on Proverbs than that of Charles Bridges, M.A. The following is his brief commentary on Proverbs 21:1.

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1, ESV)

“The general truth here implied has been before stated-man’s entire dependence on God. It is taught here by the strongest illustration-his uncontrollable sway over the king’s heart-the most absolute and unsubjected will. He turns all his most despotic rule-all his political projects-to his own purposes, with the same ease, that the rivers of water are turned by every inflexion of the channel. While their course is directed, the waters flow naturally and unforced on their own level. The king’s heart he directs as a responsible agent, without interfering with the moral liberty of his will.

Nehemiah fully acknowledged this prerogative when, having a favor to ask of the king, he “prayed unto the God of heaven.” And indeed Scripture witness is abundant. Abimelech’s heart was in the hand of the Lord for good. Pharaoh’s heart was turned towards Joseph. The Babylonish monarchs shewed kindness to Daniel and his captive brethren. The Persian monarchs countenanced and assisted in the building of the temple. The hearts of wicked kings are alike in the hand of the Lord; yet he hath no part in their wickedness. The hatred of Pharaoh; the ambition of Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar, were his instruments for his own purposes. Ahab’s murderous heart was restrained, and even made to accomplish the downfall of Baal.  The counsels of the kings of the earth against Christ were under Divine control. Thus does “the wrath of man praise him; and the remainder he restrains.” The same Almighty agency is visible by its effects in the minutest affairs. Ahasuerus’s sleepless night; Nebuchadnezzar’s divination; the appointment of the year of general taxation-these seemingly unimportant events were turning points in the dispensations of God, fraught with immensely momentous results.

The history of our blessed, though now calumniated, Reformation shows the same Sovereign control of the royal heart. Henry VIII. was employed as an unintentional instrument, and his godly son as a willing agent, in furthering this great work. The recollection encourages us to refer all anxious care for the Church to her great Head; to rejoice that, not kings, but the King of kings reigneth. And shall not we be quickened to earnest prayer for our beloved Sovereign; that her heart, being in the Lord’s hand, as rivers of water, may be disposed to rule for his glory, as a nursing mother to his Church-a blessing to her people?”