1 In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
that he channels toward all who please him.
2 A person may think their own ways are right,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
3 To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Our subject for today is sovereignty. The claim that God is sovereign is mocked, but when disaster strikes the mockers are the first to blame him. Yet if the Lord is not sovereign, who is? Are those with power accountable to no one? We are tempted to dismiss the Lord’s sovereignty because it challenges us. In those moments we forget its comfort. We are reminded today of the Lord’s sovereignty, but also of his providence. We ought to consider them together.
“A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.” It is a good thing that none of us is the ultimate sovereign, as we are all capable of self deception. Malicious evil is relatively uncommon, perhaps more suffering has been wrought by those who thought they were doing good than by those who knew they were doing evil. We may fool ourselves, along with most everyone else, but there is one who will not be fooled. “The Lord weighs the heart” – is this a burden to you, or is it a comfort?
“To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” If the Lord is sovereign and cannot be deceived, we ought to align our priorities with his. Our willingness to delay gratification, to prioritize the future in our present decisions, can determine quite a lot in our lives. To sacrifice therefore, in the proper sense, is to do right by yourself. However, in the Lord’s sight, it is more important to do right by others. Get your behavior towards others under control, and be careful to do right and be just in your dealings with them. Reconcile with those you have wronged and those who have wronged you, then go and make your sacrifices.