Proverbs 25:3

The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.


Play Audio

Heaven is higher than you can know, and the earth deeper than you can explore. Neither can you know and explore a true king’s heart. He has in his soul – classified information, burdens, plans, threats, knowledge, and wisdom you cannot discover. It is folly and presumption to judge him based on your very limited perspective of national matters.

Solomon was a king, and the son of a king. He was the wisest politician in earth’s history. Having exalted a king’s honor to search out matters (Pr 25:2), he contrasted the inability of citizens to search out and understand their king’s decisions or actions. Here is wisdom from God to teach you proper respect for civil rulers (Ex 22:28; Rom 13:1-7; Titus 3:1).

How high is high? How high is the sky? How far to the edge of the universe? How deep is deep? What is in the center of the earth? These are questions men only speculate about. They cannot truly know or understand them. The inspired comparison shows man’s deficiency in knowledge – here it is the questioning of civil rulers (Ps 103:11; Is 55:9).

Many gasped in Solomon’s court, when he asked for a sword to cut an infant in half. They were outraged! Kill a baby? Give half to each woman? What callousness! Why was he so impulsive? Why not ask more questions? Solve a death by another death? Why not select a jury of peers? Why not pay for a public defender and take six months to learn nothing? Why not pay for jail time? The king had wisdom in his heart (I Kings 3:16-28)!

Solomon broke a strong promise to his mother, when she asked for Abishag on behalf of his brother Adonijah (I Kgs 2:12-25). He killed that brother for even asking. Solomon protected his God-given rule from a usurper (I Kgs 1:5-7). A promise to his mother was nothing. It might look like a lie and murder to you, but the king’s heart was unsearchable.

Some of the harshest language of the New Testament is for those who criticize civil rulers (II Pet 2:10-12; Jude 1:8-10). God ridiculed their ignorance of government and declared they ought to be destroyed like brute beasts. He revealed that even angels do not speak disrespectfully against human rulers. He condemned rebels as presumptuous and selfwilled. They were guilty of a sin that He hates much – disrespect of national leaders.

Your president deals daily with more information than you and your ten smartest friends could analyze in a month. He faces enormous pressure from many directions for every decision. It is truly folly and selfwilled presumption to criticize his actions, when you do not have a clue about the factors involved. And a few anti-government newsletters or websites do not add to your wisdom or ability, because they do not know anything either.

While true of kings and presidents, the wisdom of this proverb applies to all authority. Fathers make decisions for families that children do not understand. Business owners do things that employees cannot understand, for owners have duties and knowledge in their hearts greater than coffee breaks and punching a time clock. Pastors oversee the flock of God with burdens, convictions, knowledge, and goals unknown to most of the members.

If you criticize leaders for things you cannot even learn, it is only fair and right that those under your authority rise up in rebellion and reject your decisions. It is only fair and right they disrespect you. It is only fair and right things do not work out in your life, because you accused or criticized a God-appointed ruler knowing more than you could even learn.

How can you apply the proverb? Honor leaders, even in your thoughts, even when their decisions look wrong (Eccl 10:20; I Kgs 12:1-4; I Pet 2:13-17). Honor your parents by respecting their rules and desires, even in facial expressions (Pr 30:17; Deut 27:16; Eph 6:1-3). Serve your masters as serving Christ, even when they are unfair (Eph 6:5-8; I Pet 2:18-23). Obey your pastor as one who has a deep, holy duty for your soul (Heb 13:7,17).

If you are concerned about the decisions being made and the future of your nation, then pray for your rulers. Do not berate or criticize them – pray for them! This is the will of God for you, even when the rulers are oppressive pagans (I Tim 2:1-3; Jer 29:4-7; Ezra 6:10). Who cares about their agendas, since God is totally in charge (Dan 2:20-22)!

There is one King you will never search out. He is the King of kings. “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Dan 4:35.) Dear reader, do you honor this King? Do you trust Him? Do you obey His every request, even when you do not understand it?

You will never search this King out, but He will search out every detail of your soul. You will give a complete account of your life to Him, right down to every idle word (Rom 14:10-12; II Cor 5:9-11; Matt 12:36). Everything you have thought, said, and done is written in His books, which will be opened to examine your sorry case (Rev 20:11-15).

If you are one of His, He will inexplicably declare you as His own child to the whole universe and give you an unspeakable eternal inheritance. You will be accepted into heaven’s bliss, while the wicked drop down into hell, all through the righteousness and merit of a substitute He provided, which is Jesus Christ. The king’s heart is unsearchable!

Paul wrote of Him in light of salvation, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Rom 11:33-36).