Thursday, August 21, 2014

God Turns Kings' Hearts to Your Favor

"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)

When we read this passage, we need to realize that no matter what plans any king may lay, they are working for God's plan in the long run.

Now, many people may hear this statement, and then make fearful remarks which suggest that God supports genocide or other evil massacres.

Refer back to the wicked things which Pharoah had done to the Israelites, and the plagues which followed because of the king's unrighteous disobedience:

"And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. 20And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go. 21And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty: 22But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians." (Exodus 3: 19-22)

Later, the LORD would share how He would affect Pharaoh:

"3And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. 4But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments." (Exodus 7: 3-4)

Now, keep in mind that the statement is causative. God wants all men to come to repentance, but the truth is that the goodness of God can harden a man's heart set on evil as much as soften a heart seeking the grace of God.

Even before God sent Moses to compel Pharaoh to release the Israelites, the LORD to told Moses and Aaron that Pharoah would not relent, and yet in the end the Israelites would not only leave Egypt but leave with great favor and wealth from the very people who had enslaved them for four hundred years.

So, right away should not worry about who is in charge in our lands, in our country, or even in our cities.

All authority comes from God, and His Son Jesus Christ is King of Kings, Lord of Lords. All knees will bow to Him.

And today, Beloved, you are in Christ:

"4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2: 4-6)


"27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." (Colossians 1: 27-29)

Consider also God's uses of other kings.

"And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:" (Daniel 2: 21) God was up front with the King of Babylon:

"And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him." (Jeremiah 27: 6)

God used prophets to tell kings what He was going to have them do, too:

"1Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
2I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:
3And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.
4For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
5I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:" (Isaiah 45: 1-5)
Notice in this passage how God uses kings so that they will know that He is God, He is LORD, and that there is no one else. God also uses kings, even if they do bad things, to bless His people.
At Jesus' judgment before Pilate, Jesus the King of Kings stood before one king, and reminded him that he had no power of himself:
"37Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." (John 18: 37)
and then
"Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 11Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. 12And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him:" (John 19: 10-12)
Pilate wanted to release Jesus, yet the heart of this ruler was in the hands of the very God who became a man, that He would witness of the truth, which is the loving grace of God for all men.
After Jesus's death and resurrection, Jesus grants to all who believe on Him the opportunity to become kings and priests:
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:" (1 Peter 2: 9)
After Paul's conversion, God used rulers to Paul's benefit and the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
1Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:
2I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: 3Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently." (Acts 26: 1-3)
From his defense before Agrippa, Paul then appealed to Caesar, and received the one-way trip to Rome to preach the Good News:
"32Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar." (Acts 26: 32)
How did Paul's journey end, regarding his appeal to Caesar?
"30And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him." (Acts 28:  30-31)
No matter who rules in your city, state, or country, you can know that because you are in Christ, you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8: 37), that He has overcome the world (John 16: 33), and that because of Him, you have overcome all things, too (1 John 4: 4, 5: 4).

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