This blog section has been broken down into two for lighter reading. You can read the first part here.
1 Chronicles 29:11
The prayer given by David in 1 Chronicles 29:10-19 has many aspects of the Lord’s prayer contained in the prayer. It includes references to; Our Father (1 Chr 29:10, 18), His Name (29:13, 16); His Kingdom (29:11); His revealed will to be done (29:19); His provision (29:16); His forgiveness (29:17-18); His deliverance (29:11, 15). David prays this prayer before his son, Solomon, takes his place on the throne. Jesus, the son of David, the true king who sits on David’s throne forever teaches us to pray the Lord’s prayer.
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.1 Chronicles 29:11
The verse of 1 Chronicles 29:11 which is, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.” This verse teaches us about God’s attributes. We will be looking at these attributes when it comes to prayer. The six important truths about; 1) God’s Greatness; 2) God’s Power; 3) God’s Glory; 4) God’s Victory; 5) God’s Majesty, and finally, 6) God’s kingdom is over all things, exalted over all.
It is very humbling to think and consider how vast and great God is. The Bible says his greatness is unsearchable (Ps 145:3). Deuteronomy 10:17 says, “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God.” When we look at the absolute attributes of God, we see that he is the very definition of the attribute. We, as humans always can be more holy or more just. However, God is the very essence of the word. God is perfect and cannot become more perfect. God is great, there is none greater. We might have a musician or sports person that we believe to be true. Muhammad Ali famously said, “I am the greatest.” However, Muhammad pails in significance to the greatness of God. God is not the greatest in one category, but all of his attributes are the greatest. For there are not parts of God. When we consider God’s greatness in prayer, we consider that he is the most powerful, most generous, most just, most pure, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, most righteous, most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth (Cf. WCF 2.1). We come before and ask him, the great God, to answer our prayers. We trust in his greatness to answer the prayer according to his greatness, For God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are our ways God’s ways (Is 55:8). When we pray, we trust in God’s greatness to answer the prayer according to His most holy righteous will.
God is all-powerful. It pleased God for the manifestation of his glory to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good (Gen 1-2; Col 1:16; Jer 10:12). Not only did God create all things, but he also upholds, directs, disposes, and govern all creatures, actions, and thing by his providence (Heb 1:3). We can see God’s eternal power and divine nature clearly since the creation of the world, in the things he has made (Rom 1:20). We also see the power of God in the gospel of salvation to everyone who believes (Rom 1:16). When we think of the power of natural forces; tidal waves, tsunamis, tornados, hurricanes, torrential rain, and lightning storms. These forces pale in comparison to the power of God who, through his providence, sends them and quiets them (Zec 10:1; Jon 1:4; Ps 107:29; Matt 8:23-27). David prays another prayer in 1 Chronicles 17:16-27 that praises God for his greatness and his great deeds. When we consider God’s power in prayer we notice that what is impossible for man, all things are possible with God (Matt 19:26). His power is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think (Eph 3:20). We take refuge in his strength and power; like a might fortress that becomes a place of refuge for the weak and defenseless. “Prayer is creaturely dependence,” BM Palmer explains. Prayer is our weakness and God’s strength; we petition God for we know he is all-powerful.
David then praises the Lord for his glory. For such a small word it carries a tremendous amount of weight and value. The word in Hebrew is תִּפְאֶ֫רֶת (tip̄·ʾě·rěṯ) the word is translated glory or beauty (Cf. Ps 96:6; Pr 4:9). This word it is commonly connected to jewelry or crowns ((Pr 16:31; Eze 16:12, 17; Jer 13:18; Pr 4:9) and also to the dwelling place of God (Is 63:15; 64:11; Ps 96:6; Zec 12:7). William Perkins describes God’s glory as, “the infinite excellency of his most simple and most holy divine nature.” God is glorious, it is who he is, one of his attributes. Glory is the manifestation of all the attributes of God, Isaiah says that the whole earth is filled with God’s glory (Is 6:3). This can be an abstract word for us to comprehend but that is the point. Many times we are limited in our understanding of God because we are finite and fallen creatures. We have previously looked at this in the petition, Hallowed be your name. God’s glory is an enormous topic because it is too great for us to explain. We pray that God might answer our prayers for his glory, that his beauty might be displayed for all to see.
“It would be dangerous for the feeble brain of man to wade far into the doings of the Most High; whom although to know [to] be life, and joy to make mention of his name; yet our soundest knowledge is to know that we do not know him as indeed he is, neither can know him: and our safest eloquence concerning him is our silence, when we confess without confession that his glory is inexplicable, his greatness above our capacity and reach.”Richard Hooker
This is the only time in the ESV Bible the Hebrew word is translated victory, out of 42 occurrences. The word means, “eminence, enduring, everlastingness, perpetuity.” God is eternal, he has no beginning and no end. The Psalmist writes, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2). We again cannot comprehend the number of his years (Job 36:26). He has no beginning and was here before the foundation of the earth (Gen 1:1; Eph 1:4; Ps 102:25-27). We can take two simple points from the eternity of God; 1) our life is short, and our problems are small. Our life is represented by a dash. You have your birth year, a dash, then your year of death. When we pray, we realize that our petitions for daily bread, are small problems, yet God cares for us (Matt 6:26). 2) That God is eternal, and we can rest that he is unchangeable throughout all eternity. He is steadfast and enduring. Throughout all of our problems and concerns with our life, God is unaltering, unwavering, unending. We can pray knowing he is the rock we can hold on to the anchor which keeps us rooted.
Many of these terms are closely related. Numerous times in Hebrew writings the author uses similar words to show the completeness of their prayer or writings. Deuteronomy 6:5 is a great example of this, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” The repetition shows the fullness of how we are to love God. Psalm 119 is an expanded version of this idea. Every verse shows the word of God as the perfect rule of faith and practice. King David in the prayer of 1 Chronicles 29:11 shows this when talking about God’s greatness, power, glory, eternality, and now with God’s majesty. You cannot separate the attributes from God for they all speak of Him. David praises God for his majesty. The king of Israel, the mighty King David praises God. All kings will bow down before God’s majesty (Ps 72:11). The root word in Hebrew means “weighty.” To call someone weighty is offensive today. However, we still might say, “They are worth their weight in gold.” When we ascribe majesty to God, we ascribe the worth which is due. God’s majesty surpasses the glory of everything else. His value, weight and worth are infinite. Our worship should carry this great weight, giving reverence and awe to God’s majesty and splendor. Our prayer as a part of worship should also carry this as we consider who we are praying to. John Calvin rightly said, “None duly prepare themselves for prayer but those who are so impressed with the majesty of God that they engage in it free from all earthly cares and affections.” Many of the Psalms begin, end or both begin and end with God’s glory, majesty and splendor. We should adore God in our prayer and should ascribe to him what he is worth.
God’s kingdom is over all things, exalted overall
Finally, David’s prayer points towards God’s kingdom. Interestedly, David does not call it his kingdom or Solomon’s kingdom but God’s kingdom. David sees himself as a steward and servant to the one true king. We looked at this briefly in the second petition of “your kingdom come.” A king’s kingdom is generally measured by the size of his realm. One might call themselves a king but in reality, their realm might be their quarter-acre lot. God is king over the earth (Ps 47:6-7). God is King over the heavens (Is 66:1, Acts 7:49). “For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations” (Psalm 22:28). God’s realm is over all things but also, he is to be exalted over all. Not only the size of the realm but the subjection to his subjects is the measure of a king. Having a large kingdom is often the demise of the king because he is unable to rule over all his subjects, some will commit treason, others do not obey. However, God’s kingdom is filled with subjects who exalt him overall. “So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil 2:10-11, cf. Rom 14:11).