Proverbs 21:1 Dissected & Defined
The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
Dissected and Defined
The word king is today’s word ruler. That is a modern day leader. Our heart is our meditator. It’s where we dwell on information stored in our mind. Hand means control. The phrase rivers of water refers to the building of channels that are created to irrigate fields and control rivers.
This “underlying meaning” is arguably the most valuable truth in the Bible concerning submission to authority. Solomon is teaching us how to influence leadership that they may focus on our needs.
As a leader, I know I have a lot of people who try to influence my decision making process. But there is one influence that can always change the way I think about something, as well as strongly influence any decision I make. That influence is the Lord.
This verse tells us that God can control the thinking of His leaders—their hearts are in His hands! So, we see God has control and He probably won’t be giving that control to anyone. Our role is not to influence the leader, but rather to influence the Influencer of the leader.
How does He influence us? He turns our hearts like rivers of waters. We build channels to change the direction of water. Those channels will bring water to an area for irrigation or they will divert water away from an area to keep it dry, as is the case with the levees in New Orleans. This is caused by channels that divert the water to where the developer designs for it to go.
The leader’s thoughts are the rivers. The developer is the Lord and He channels those thoughts to bring necessary irrigation or protection to submissive followers.
In order to influence leadership, ask God to build channels of thought in your direction and be prepared to answer the leader’s every question. That’s how Nehemiah influenced his King to rebuild an entire city: “…so I prayed to the God of heaven. And I [answered]… the king’s [question]…” (Neh. 2).