God’s Sovereignty

Proverbs 21

I recently read Proverbs 21. Proverbs 21 verse 1 immediately caught my attention. I meditated and reflected on the implications of Proverbs 21:1.  I read the verse in several different translations. Doing this helps me secure the meaning of the verse.

Attributes of God’s Sovereignty

Proverbs 21:1 deals directly with the attributes of God’s sovereignty.

Proverbs 21:1 (King James Version) – 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 (English Standard Version) – The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.

Proverbs 21:1 (New American Standard Bible) – The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.

Proverbs 21:1 (New International Version) – The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

Proverbs 21:1 (New Living Translation) – The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases.

God Is In Charge

The verse is a reminder, no, a wake-up call that God is in charge. He is in control. I recalled a couple of Bible verses that point this out, God being in control. Romans 8:28 is the first verse that came to mind.

Romans 8:28 (King James Version) says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Next Ephesians 1:11 was remembered.

Ephesians 1:11 (King James Version) says, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”

The phrase “all things” means everything.  It tells us that God is over everything. So, if we go to the Bible and look for specific examples of the “all things” that God is sovereign over we can find a never-ending list.

Ten Examples of God’s Sovereignty

Here are ten examples of God’s Sovereignty found in the Bible (italics mine):

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE DECISIONS OF KINGS

Proverbs 21:1 – “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” — That was the verse I read this morning.

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE LOSS OF OR THE GAINING OF WEALTH

Deuteronomy 8:18 – “But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you the power to make wealth…”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE LOSS OF FAMILY, WEALTH, AND HEALTH

Job 1:21- “He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.'”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER ALL DECISIONS

Proverbs 16:33 – “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE BIRDS

Matthew 10:29 – “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them(the sparrows or birds) will fall to the ground apart from your Father.”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER ALL KINGS AND NATIONS

Daniel 4:35- “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?'”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER TRAVEL PLANS

James 4:13-15 – “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’; yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER SUFFERING IN THE LIVES OF CHRISTIANS

1 Peter 4:19 – “Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right,”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE REPENTANCE OF A PERSON

2 Timothy 2:25 – “with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,”

  1. GOD IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE SPIRITUAL MATURITY OF THE BELIEVER

Hebrews 6:1-3 – “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits.”

God Is Sovereign

God is sovereign. He is in control. His plans ultimately are accomplished.

I write nonfiction and science fiction with faith. I write about God’s Sovereignty in my science fiction with faith.


Image by Monfocus from Pixabay with modifications by the author.

11 thoughts on “God’s Sovereignty

  1. I love to read the same verse in different translations, too, Jimmie – because, not only does it help me with the meaning of the verse, it gives me the pleasure of reading words like “whithersoever” …. what a beautiful word that rolls off the tongue and reminds me that God can do WHATEVER he chooses!

  2. Thanks for the reminder of God’s sovereignty. I think in the fast paced world, we tend to forget He is Lord of all things. When we’re going through hard times, it is comforting to know that although His plan may not be our plan, God is in charge and He will get us through the trial.

  3. Thank you so much for this reminder this morning. I am struggling this week over trying to control our house renovations. Every day seems to bring another road block to our progress, and I have grown tired and frustrated. Maybe God is trying to remind me that even wonderful things like house renovations are not in my control. Thank you for this needed truth today!

    1. I experienced similar thoughts when I had major renovations to my home a few years ago. Prays for peace of mind. We all know if they would just do what we want, how we want it, and when we want it it would be okay. I remember my late wife saying that and then laughing adding, what am I saying? She added she wished she could easily trust God like me. I replied this is so big and complex I have to trust God.

  4. Remembering God’s sovereignty over rulers and nations is especially comforting during an election year. The tension between His sovereignty and our responsibility is one of the great mysteries of Scripture.

  5. I love this! I felt myself relaxing as I read through this list thinking, “This is another thing I can let go. This is another thing I can surrender…” Thank you for sharing. I may go through this list with my Bible study group!

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