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 was my son Jonathan’s Sunday School memory verse this week. When I saw it in the email from his teacher, I thought, “That’s a great verse, I need to memorize that!”
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness…
There is no greatness that anyone can lay claim to that is not ultimately from God himself. God is not only great, all greatness is his. We are used to saying, “God is greater than…” and so he is, but we can say even more. All the greatness that any president or king or leader or any famous person can lay claim to, if it is a true greatness, belongs to God.
There is a greatness in our world today that is not great at all. It may be notoriety or celebrity or fame, but it is not true greatness (I won’t waste your time with examples). And yet there is a true greatness–that which is noble and pure and good. The greatness of Einstein’s mind was a gracious demonstration in a small degree of the intellectual power of God. The greatness of athletic achievement is a gracious demonstration in a small degree of the strength and power of God. The greatness of great acts of love, or faithfulness, or service, while they may be performed by human beings under God’s gracious influence, ultimately belongs to God. The apostle Paul’s greatness belongs to God. Hudson’s Taylor’s greatness belongs to God. Any greatness you may feel that you can lay claim to is God’s. Yours is the greatness, O Lord!
…and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty…
Now apply the same principle to each of these. There is no power except that which is God’s. Any worthwhile accomplishment, any work of service, any obstacle overcome, any foe defeated, all is owing ultimately to the power that belongs to God and God alone. Even the exercise of power for evil is God’s. There is no power that can be exercised for evil apart from God’s sovereign control of all things.
To God belongs all glory. The glory of creation is God’s. The glory of human accomplishment is God’s. The glory of nations and empires is God’s. The glory of angelic beings is his. At the end of all things, if there is anyone who can stand and display any glory of any sort, it will be only God’s glory, displayed as a tribute to him, bestowed by him, that he might be all in all.
There is no victory except that which is God’s. Any sin conquered, he gets the credit for. Any obstacle overcome, any race won, any superiority demonstrated, it belongs to God. His is the victory.
His alone is the majesty. The greatest kings and queens of human history have displayed only a derived majesty, given by God for a time. The majesty of the highest mountains is God’s. The majesty of distant galaxies that dwarf our entire solar system is a dim reflection of the glory of the One who called them all into being with a word.
…for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours…
Why is all the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty God’s and God’s alone? Because he is the Creator and owner of all. Look around you; everything you see is his. Everything you own belongs to God. Everything to the furthest horizons of your vision as you look up, down and all around you is God’s. Anything that you can imagine is God’s.
And God doesn’t just own all of this just to let it sit around useless in his backyard like all that junk in your storage shed out back. He has a purpose and plan for every vessel in his creation. There is nothing that is meaningless. He will use it all for his glory.
Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.
A kingdom is a place, but it is also a sphere of influence, a “dominion” or that which is dominated and controlled. Ultimately there is only one kingdom and it is God’s. He alone has a say. His decisions are the only ones that are final. He alone can truly be called the Head, and he is above all. He reigns supreme over every power, every purpose, every person, every particle of matter. There is nothing that is outside his active sphere of influence.
He is all in all.
And he has walked among us, in the person of the divine Son, Jesus the Anointed One from Nazareth–the only human being who has ever lived who can lay claim to the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty that is God’s alone. Jesus, the Lamb of God who was slain.
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. (Revelation 5:11-14)
Amen! I fall on my face in worship of you, Lord Jesus!