The Heart of the King

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

The year 2012 is an election year. This year, and really for the last year and a half or better, the political parties have been busy at work nominating their respective candidates, choosing running mates, laying out their plans and positions, and above all raising money. These endeavors are all aimed at the goal of gaining for their candidate and party the office of President of the United States. With this office comes power. Power to set the course the country will take for the next 4 years, power to nominate judges to the bench, power to use the bully pulpit of the presidency to push through his ideas and plans. The office Mitt Romney and Barack Obama seek is indeed a powerful position. Some will go so far as to say the President of the United States is the most powerful man on earth.

Scripture, as is the norm, tells us a different story than the world would have us believe. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” The writer of Proverbs tells us where the real power lies. The writer here pictures the heart of the king, the very center or soul of the man, the place where his will and mind choose his direction and actions, as a river of water. A river that the Lord can and does, at His almighty whim, move and change. The writer here pictures the king, that most highly respected and powerful man of Biblical and ancient times, as really nothing more than a puppet in the hand of almighty God. The Heidelberg Catechism speaks of the rule of God over all things, kings and princes as well as you and I in this way: The Providence of God is “the almighty and everywhere present power of God; whereby, as it were by his hand, he upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, and all things come, not by chance, but by his fatherly hand.”

God rules over all! God controls all things for the good of His church, and even earthly kings, presidents, and prime ministers kneel before the Lord of heaven and earth. God rules all things with His beloved church in mind, and nothing, even Satan or his devils, is outside His control. Jesus Himself testifies to this in Luke 12:6-8 when he says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

This confession has implications for us as believers. First, it means that we view elections and their outcome differently than the world. As believers, we ought not place our confidence and trust in the election of a man, no matter how much we might agree with him and his positions. Our confidence lies not with a man, but with God almighty through His son, Jesus Christ. He has told us in his word that he will, as our Baptism form says so simply and elegantly, avert all evil or turn it to our profit. We believe Him, even if our candidate does not ascend to the presidency. God rules over all things.

Second, our confession that God controls all things, the election of presidents included, means that we owe the man who holds this high office much respect, even if we might not agree with everything he does. As the first verse of Romans 13 tells us, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God.” . Disagreeing with a decision the president makes is certainly our right, and sometimes even our Christian obligation. But we must do so respectfully, because the Lord Himself has given that man the office. No man wins election against God’s will, and therefore we must respect the man and the office out of respect and love for our Heavenly Father who placed him in that office. So long as the president does not command us to do something contrary to scripture, we must submit, not for that man’s sake but for God’s.

Lastly, our confession that God places men in and out of office according to His will should not be a deterrent to voting or to actively supporting a candidate we believe would be good for the nation. It is undoubtedly true that God can and will install the next president of the United States with or without my vote. But so long as we are able to cast the ballot, I believe it is our duty to do so. God works in this world, not by miracles any longer, but by ordinary means. If we become sick, we don’t just pray that God will heal us, we pray that God will heal us while understanding that he uses the ordinary means of doctors, hospitals, and medicine according to His will. In the same way, if we see our nation doing things contrary to God’s clearly revealed word, we don’t just simply shake our head and pray that God will turn this nation around. We can use the means of the ballot box to vote for men who will more closely follow the commands God lays out in scripture. We have the opportunity to support ballot initiatives to affect changes to the laws of our land so that they more closely conform to the perfect law of our Heavenly Father. Even inside the ballot box, we have the opportunity and responsibility to be salt and light in this world. We cast our vote, and we leave the outcome in the hands of the Lord.

Regardless of the outcome of all these things, our confidence is ultimately and only in our Heavenly Father. Presidents, Prime Ministers, and earthly Kings of every kind will come and go. But our Lord reigns now already in heaven, and He will rule over the new heavens and new earth someday in perfection.

The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul. Psalm 103:19-22

Categories Articles | Tags: | Posted on October 27, 2012

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

Comments are closed.

close window

Service Times & Directions

Sunday Services

Sunday Morning: 9:30 am

Sunday Evening 6:00 pm

2011 2nd Street
Hull, IA 51239
(712) 439-1284