In the LORD’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
that he channels toward all who please him. — Proverbs 21:1
The story is told that when former Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin visited America in the 1970s, he insisted on meeting with the leading rabbis of the time. During this meaningful encounter, the prime minister shared with the rabbis that he had a heart condition and asked the holy men to pray for him. One of the great rabbis present replied: “You don’t need our prayers. The heart of the king is in the hand of God.”
The rabbi was referring to a verse in Proverbs which reads: “In the LORD’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.” The Jewish translation of this verse is slightly different. It reads: “Like streams of water, the heart of the king is in the hand of God. He directs it anywhere He wishes." Either way you read it, the general idea is the same: God can, and will, influence the choices of world leaders. Their hearts are in His hand so that God’s plan can continue to unfold in exactly the way He demands.
As we near the U.S. Presidential elections in what is arguably one of the most important elections of our times, much is at stake, both for America and for the world. People on both political spectrums are on edge, worried about what might happen if the opponent wins. Other people have expressed displeasure with either candidates and feel hopeless.
There is no better time to remember that no matter who wins the elections in any country, God is the ultimate King. His plans will be carried out and His judgment will be executed. Let’s not lose sight of that.
All who are eligible must vote. People must do what they can to facilitate what they think is right. Yet, after the ballots are cast, it’s time to hand it over to God. If we are deserving, God can direct any president’s heart in our favor. As we scrutinize and judge each candidate – as we should – we must also turn inward and judge ourselves. As believers we must trust that God will do as He sees fit for every nation across the globe no matter who the leader may be.
Let us use this time to reinforce our belief and trust in the Lord. No person on earth, in spite of titles or honors, gets to run the world. There is only one God, and only He will determine how history will unfold. Only He will lead us to our ultimate destiny in the right way and at the right time.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President