Readings: 1 Chronicles 29:6-13; Psalm 63:1-4; Matthew 6:6-13 (including footnote in NIV).
“For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
So we’ve reached the end of this series on the Lord’s Prayer. We’re still saying it together. I wonder if these reflections have made any difference to you? As you pray?
Just a question – how many of you heard the whole series? All seven plus today? Well done!
Anyone read the ones you missed on the bbpsermons website? Well done too!
Some highlights as we look back. The line that I enjoyed the most quoted from Tim Keller was this one. It’s about who we pray to. You may remember this. It was part 2 – Hallowed by thy name.
- His fatherliness makes his heavenliness non-intimidating.
- His heavenliness makes his fatherliness not just comforting but absolutely liberating – he is all powerful to keep his promises. Amen!
In that same week I said this:
And so we are to “hallow” God’s name – to honour and revere it. It’s really about adoration and praise. To honour his name is to give him the credit for who he is and what he has done. To focus on God rather than all other things.
Here’s the test question: What preoccupies you when you are in thought – wrestling with the things of life?
Tim Keller suggests this: what is always on your mind – that’s usually what you adore – what you love the most.
Today we pick this up in a sense – as we look at the doxology at the end of the prayer:
For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.(v13)
We’ve looked at the kingdom, and the power.
It’s the glory that jumps out from the page for me. Yours is the glory!
David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29 came to mind as soon as I looked at this again. David had just done what many people have done here, and can still do. He provided for the next generation through a bequest. Not only does he dedicate the nation’s wealth for his son Solomon to use in the building of the temple when he is gone – he also gives his personal wealth for the project. He gives it while still alive.
1Ch 29:3 Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God:
That’s the context of the other giving of the leaders – and his beautiful prayer.
It struck me that we might not be here were it not for bequests from previous generations. And we have the same choice to leave something for the work here at Browns Bay when we die. That’s by the way. It has to be said. Have you made some provision for the future of the work here when you have gone?
Look how David’s giving releases giving on behalf of all the people.
1Ch 29:6 Then the leaders of ancestral houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of the thousands and of the hundreds, and the officers over the king’s work. 1Ch 29:7 They gave for the service of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. 1Ch 29:8 Whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the LORD, into the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. 1Ch 29:9 Then the people rejoiced because these had given willingly, for with single mind they had offered freely to the LORD; King David also rejoiced greatly.
And then David prays:
1Ch 29:11 Yours, O LORD, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.
1Ch 29:12 Riches and honour come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might; and it is in your hand to make great and to give strength to all.
1Ch 29:13 And now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your glorious name.
I reckon we could use this as an offering prayer. In fact, I remember Durban North Presbyterian singing this during the offering back in the 1970s.
In the reading from the Psalms today the same pattern comes up:
Psa 63:2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Psa 63:3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. Psa 63:4 So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
Three words. In David’s prayers. And the one we have in Matthew in the Lord’s Prayer.
Kingdom. – we know this. That’s what we are to seek first.
Power. – this helps us in our praying. This father has the power to provide for his children.
Glory. – this is new. We don’t talk much about the glory of God.
- Do we understand this concept?
- Do we seek to give him glory?
- The glory is his. Is this something we can give him? Or is this also something we should seek?
- Let’s explore this word. It has different facets to it.
SO ABOUT GLORY – FIRSTLY.
The Old Testament word is Kabhod.
You may recognise the word in the name of an unfortunate character named Ichabod – in 1 Samuel. That’s a tale in itself. He was the grandson of Eli – when the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines and Eli’s rebellious sons Hophni and Phineas are killed. Eli hears the bad news and falls of his chair in shock, breaking his neck. Phineas’ wife goes into labour and Ichabod is born. His mother names his this because “the glory has departed from Israel” (1 Sam 4:21-22.)
God’s glory – kabhod – was his presence. The word also means “heavy”.
You get the sense of the weight of his presence. We seek his glory when we seek his presence.
When Solomon’s temple is built later, he prays that God will make his presence real (2 Chronicles 6:41-42). In the next verse 2 Chronicles 7:1 we read:
2Ch 7:1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2Ch 7:2 The priests could not enter the temple of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled it. 2Ch 7:3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the LORD above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.”
There are moments in worship for us too, when we are aware of his presence, there’s a weight on us, the presence of his glory.
Glory – in the new Testament – is the word DOXA from which we get the word “doxology” – a short declaration of praise.
The word also means splendour or brightness. So we get for example in Hebrews 1 this powerful statement:
Heb 1:1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,
- Heb 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. Heb 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
And of course that well known John 1:14 – the culminating verse of the prologue to John’s gospel:
- Joh 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth
I was saying at tea last week that when we see Jesus we are unlikely to come up with the questions we say we’d like to ask him. Like “why did you let me get this disease?” I think we will be silent and prostrate on the ground like John in Revelation 1:
- Rev 1:14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. Rev 1:15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. Rev 1:16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. Rev 1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
There’s some glory there – splendour and brightness. His presence.
There’s something about worship that is often not understood. We’ve talked about it before – and in this series – about entering the presence of the King. A Holy God.
When his glory is revealed – that heaviness of his presence, and his splendour and brightness – we stop nattering and yapping to each other – the focus is on God. And often we are silent.
The prophet Habakkuk says this in the context of the people’s worship of idols: Hab 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.”
His glory involves his presence and his splendour. And it can silence us when we are in awe of who He is.
THIRDLY we give Him glory in worship – in the songs we sing, and the prayers we pray. We also give Him glory when we we do all these things we have looked at in the last couple of months:
We give Him glory when we live by the tenets of this prayer template called the Lord’s Prayer.
- We hallow his name – honour his name.
- Pray for his kingdom as a priority (elsewhere Jesus says “Seek first the Kingdom of God”.)
- Do his will – bringing heaven to earth.
- Trust him for our daily needs – one day at a time.
- Forgive like him – celebrating our forgiveness.
- Ask for his protection from trials and freedom and deliverance from the evil one.
- Because it’s His Kingdom that matters, his power that makes it possible for us to do this, and his name which receives the glory. Not us. It’s never about us.
Two weeks ago we listen to a song entitled “Hidden”. I gave you the words.
We’ll get to sing it at some point. The last part of the song captures some of this. Listen again:
The sun, moon and stars, Shout Your name, they give you reverence; And I, will do the same, With all my heart I give You glory |2x|
I want to seek You first, I want to love You more; I want to give You the honour You deserve; So I’ll bow before You, I am overcome, By the beauty of this perfect love. |2x|
Are we seeking him first? Loving him more? Giving him the honour he deserves? I encourage you to explore a more intimate relationship with God. And entering into worship with all your heart is part of that.
- Be open. The songs we sing – sing them with all your heart. Both here and on your own. Listen to them at home.
- Focus on God – seek his presence and the fullness of his Spirit.
- Seek his glory both here and in your wider life.
Draw near to him and he will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
Let’s pray David’s prayer as we close:
1Ch 29:11 Yours, O LORD, are the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours; yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. 1Ch 29:12 Riches and honour come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might; and it is in your hand to make great and to give strength to all. 1Ch 29:13 And now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your glorious name.