We run our website the way we wished the whole internet worked: we provide high quality original content with no ads. We are funded by your direct support for ReKnew and our vision. Please consider supporting this project.

How do you respond to Proverbs 16:9?

“The human mind plans the way,
but the Lord directs the steps.”
(cf. Prov. 19:21; 20:24; Jere. 10:23)

Far from teaching that God controls everything, as some compatibilists maintain, this verse contrasts what the Lord controls with what he chooses not to control. Humans can and do make their own plans, but the Lord directs how those plans get worked out. As Proverbs 19:21 puts it,

The human mind may devise many plans,
But it is the purpose of the Lord that
will be established.

This does not imply that God meticulously controls everything humans do as they seek to live out their plans, only that he steers our paths in ways that best fit his sovereign purposes. When the course of action the Lord is steering flows from someone’s evil intentions, we may be assured that he wishes it were otherwise.

Related Reading

How do you respond to Mark 14:13–15?

In planning for the Passover meal, Jesus tells his disciples, “Go into the city and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’…

How do you respond to 2 Samuel 16:10?

David says of Shimei’s cursing him, “If he is cursing because the Lord said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” Some compatibilists cite this text to suggest that David regarded evil deeds, including cursing, as taking place in accordance with the sovereign will of God. If we accept…

What is the significance of 1 Kings 21:27–29?

Because of Ahab’s great sin the Lord tells him, “I will bring disaster on you; I will consume you…” (vs. 21). Ahab repents and the Lord responds by telling his messenger prophet, “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster…

Topics:

How do you respond to 1 Kings 13:2–3?

The Lord proclaims against the pagan alter of Jeroboam, “O altar, altar, thus says the Lord: ‘A son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and he shall sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who offer incense on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.’ He…

Tragedy Strikes and Coherence Goes Out the Window

I encourage you to read Aurora shooting inspires various perspectives on God and belief, written by Electa Draper and published on the front page of the Denver Post Monday. The article shows how differently believers process tragedies, and illustrates the centrally important role one’s picture of God plays in these responses. For today, I’d like…

Will people get married in heaven?

Question: I lead a Bible study group for teenagers. One recently asked a question: “Will there be marriage in Heaven? And if not, why? God created marriage when He created the perfect earth, so why won’t there also be marriage in the New Earth after the resurrection? Surely the New Earth will be a restored…

Topics: