According to the Proverbs related to God’s Wisdom & Sovereignty, God is sovereign over everything.
Stop – ruminate on that for a moment, because that idea has HUGE implications, and it’s all too easy to read over without digesting.
God is sovereign over e v e r y t h i n g!
Ultimately, there is nothing outside the influence of God’s power and control. This does not mean there are not certain things He cannot do, rather, it means there are many things He cannot do. For instance, God cannot make a mistake. God cannot speak untruth (by virtue of His saying something, it is true). God cannot be imperfect in any way.
We could add to this list, but you get the idea.
God’s sovereignty and power extend over all things – Proverbs highlights many.
SOVEREIGN OVER CREATION
God is completely sovereign over the created world, and one can see His wisdom woven into creation itself (Prov 3:19-20; 8:22-31).
Proverbs 8 speaks of God existing outside of creation before He spoke it into existence. It also speaks of God’s wisdom existing before the creation event.
Humans live in a universe governed by space and time, but we would do well do remember that, while God may operate within space and time, He is not governed by it – He created it, exists outside of it, and is sovereign over it.
He is also sovereign over everything that is subject to space and time. This includes the universe and the planets, and everything on the earth – from nations to individuals to governments to commerce to winds to tides to weather to death to disease to everything else within Creation, God is sovereign.
SOVEREIGN OVER WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING
The Proverbs related to God’s Wisdom & Sovereignty (in addition to many other scriptures) imply that every facet of everything that has ever happened or ever will happen is known and understood by God. This includes every detail of the most catastrophic of the world’s disasters down to the seemingly insignificant minutia of the flap of a butterfly’s wings in an unexplored region of the world – nothing escapes God’s eye!
Past, present, and future, God has the ability to see the big picture as a whole down to the smallest, most insignificant detail. Not only does He know the past, present, and future – living outside the boundaries of space and time He could very well exist within past, present, and future simultaneously! Who says His omnipresence/omniscience is limited by what humans conceive to be natural law? God created natural law, and He is sovereign over it.
As evidenced by His unfathomable and incomparable greatness, God holds the keys to all knowledge and understanding. Any little bit we possess comes from Him because He has a monopoly on all of it!
SOVEREIGN OVER THE HEART
After reflecting on the previous aspects of God’s sovereignty, what a little thing His sovereignty over the heart begins to seem!
The Bible makes it clear the LORD’s vision into the hearts of men is pure and piercing, but just what is the heart?
In our culture, most think of the heart as the seat of emotion. Phrases like, “I love you with all of my heart” are descriptive of how we emotionally feel about another person, but in the Bible, the heart is much more than that.
The Hebrew word translated “heart” in the Old Testament is Lev, and it shows up close to 900 times in various forms. It can refer to 1) a person’s physical heart (the blood pumping organ of the body), 2) the physical mid-section of a person, or 3) a person’s inner self. More often than not option #3 – the inner self (i.e. inner person, mind, soul, spirit, will) – is what is meant.
The inner self is not simply the seat of one’s emotions – it includes that, but is not limited to it. The biblical concept of “heart” refers not only to feelings, but also to one’s thoughts, volitions, and motivations.
Simply put, the Old Testament concept of “heart” refers to who you are on the inside that no one else can see.
You’ve heard the old saying, “Home is where the heart is”, but that saying is misleading.
The truth is, “The heart is where the home is”, because your “heart” is where you really live, and no one else can really come in. People may catch glimpses of your true heart here and there, and those you are closer to will have more knowledge of your true heart than others, but even your best friend or spouse will never fully know your true heart – no one else but you really will.
No one else, that is, except for God.
IN YOUR BUSINESS
Whether you like it or not, and as I’ve heard college students say, God is “all up in your business.”
Proverbs teaches this truth, and it’s found throughout the rest of the Bible too.
In 1 Samuel 16:7b, God told Samuel that He’d decided to make David the nation of Israel’s next king because He sees much more than the human eye – God sees the inner self of a man:
“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart [inner self].”
David knew this truth well, and passed it on to his son Solomon (who would later write most of the book of Proverbs) in 1 Chronicles 28:9:
“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart [all of the inner self] and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”
No matter how much we might like to hide it, Proverbs 20:27 (in addition to many other Proverbs) teaches that the light of the Lord will illuminate every facet of our inner selves:
“The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being.”
Nothing is hidden from the LORD’s sight, human hearts included.
GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY EQUALS PERFECT JUDGMENT
As a result of God’s perfect knowledge, we can expect God to be perfect in administering judgment and justice.
Since the LORD knows all, His reward will be according to a perfect standard.
As Jeremiah 17:10 says:
“I the LORD search the heart [inner self] and examine the mind [inmost being], to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”
Reward is in God’s hand, and it will be meted out according to His perfect knowledge.
This concept is repeated in the New Testament. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:4b-5:
“It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.”
There will come a day when we are completely laid bare – thoughts, actions, and motives – for all to see. Better to get your house in order now through the power of the Holy Spirit than to wait until that day to be exposed!
Lastly,1 John 3:19-21 says:
“This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God …”
“For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything …”
When it comes to judgment, it will be our hearts that acquit us or condemn us (I spoke a bit about this at the end of the post on the sinner’s prayer and believer’s baptism).
It is the heart – the inner self, the person we are on the inside that no one besides God can see – that will acquit us or condemn us, because our inner selves – who we are at the core of our being – is what God expects to be in submission to Jesus.
Anyone can fake externals, and, frankly, many do, but when it comes to the heart, no one can “fake it” before God. He sees the real you, and will judge the real you according to His just and perfect standard.
Where is your heart?
Isn’t it wonderful to know that God is good? Isn’t it wonderful to know that He’s just and kind and loving, and has our best interests in mind?
God is for us, not against us, and we should both take comfort in and be challenged by the words of Proverbs 30:5 and 3:5-6:
“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Wise words to be heeded and applied.