“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness”
We tend to give only passing attention to our Chronicles reading because our other readings today in Ezekiel 38 and John 4 provoke so much thought. But in Chronicles we have the climax to King David’s life. Consider the scene: he had made great provision for building the Temple, others had followed his example and “the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord” (1 Chronicles 29:9).
Consider now the exalted spirit owe read in David’s final public 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 the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name” (verses 11-13).
We need to take special note of the sudden change of thought that now comes into the prayer! David’s mind, his vision of life and all that it really amounts to, causes him to say, “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding” (verses 14,15).
David was totally honest and faced the true reality of the human position in the way he thought, the human position is a total contrast to God’s. He then becomes very personal about his relationship with God. “I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you … keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you” (verses 17,18).
Let us emulate David’s prayer whenever we pray for each other – as we should.
David now fell asleep and Solomon becomes king. David’s Psalm 17, as a prayer provides a fitting epitaph to the thoughts we have culled. Note particularly its last verse. “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness”. David has set us a heart moving example and meditation that we should follow!