The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; He turns it whithersoever He wills.
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.”
The example I’m going to use is found in:
2 Chronicles 28:5-6, 8 “Wherefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand fo the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great many of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter.
For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers.
And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand women, sons, and daughters, and took away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.”
Here is God’s judgement on Judah. They had forsaken Him, and turned to idolatry under king Ahaz.
God let Syria kill and take captives. But there was no repentance on king Ahaz part; or even turning to God for help. So….
God let Israel, the kingdom of ten tribes, win a great battle against Judah; and let them take away many captives, and great spoil.
But Israel and Judah were brothers. They should not have been fighting, nor should they enslave each other.
Leviticus 25:39,42-43 “And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bond servant:
For they are My servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen.
Thou shalt not rule over him with rigor, but shalt fear thy God.”
So God sends a prophet to warn Israel. Those that had taken captives from Judah, were putting all Israel under the “fierce wrath” of the Lord.
2 Chronicles 28:9-11 “But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the hosts that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the Lord God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, He hath delivered them into your hands, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up into heaven.
Now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the Lord your God?
Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken of your brethren: for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you.”
Yes, Judah had sinned, and so God allowed Israel to kill many, and cripple the plans of the wicked king Ahaz.
But, they too, were sinners; and to keep slaves of their brethren from Judah would have brought judgement upon Israel….God’s fierce wrath.
This was the same term he used when describing God’s actions toward Judah. This was serious.
But would they hear?
The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, he turns it wherever He wills.
Sometimes God lets men go on in their sins. Especially after His Word has been given to them, many times.
But when God chooses to, He can override the natural hatred and pride of any heart.
And so He did here.
2 Chronicles 25:12-15 “Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim….stood up against them that came from the war.
And said unto them, Ye shall not bring the captives hither: for whereas we have offended against the Lord already, ye intend to add more to our sins and to our trespass: for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.
So the armed men left the captives….
And the men…rose up and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all…., and arrayed them,…and gave them to eat and to drink,….and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho,….to their brethren: then they returned to Samaria.”
The captives were returned, and by it the Lord showed how He would help His people if they would just hear His Word and obey.
God’s mercies are great every day. Who knows how God will prepare a people’s heart for more mercies.
Even though, under Ahaz, Judah sinned greatly; yet God was merciful, and caused their enemies to act as brethren for the people.
Ahaz ruled sixteen years. He did a lot of damage to the people by his rebellion against the Lord.
But when he died, his son Hezekiah lead a great revival, which was carried into the ten tribes of Israel. To the very people who had their hearts “turned” by God before.
God is Great, and Greatly to be praised.