“The LORD made Solomon very great in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel” (v. 25).- 1 Chronicles 29:10–30
Today we return to our study of the Old Testament Historical Books. We are in 1 Chronicles 29:10–30, where the Chronicler gives his record of the death of David and the anointing of Solomon. These verses also tell us that David prayed before the assembly of Israel that had gathered to worship the Lord and to hear from David regarding Solomon and the temple (vv. 1–9).
David’s prayer is a model in several ways. First, Matthew Henry calls attention to how the prayer emphasizes God’s “infinite perfections . . . sovereign dominion . . . [and] universal influence and agency.” Just consider the opening of the prayer, where David mentions divine attributes such as power and glory, states that the Lord rules “over all,” and affirms that He gives “strength to all” (vv. 10–13). The God of Israel is no mere tribal deity with only a limited and regional influence. He possesses all power, controls all things, and works in, through, and on all things in order to accomplish His sovereign will (see Eph. 1:11). David acknowledged this in his final public prayer, and we do well to acknowledge God in such a way when we pray.
In David’s prayer, we also see evidence of great humility. David confessed that the Israelites could not willingly offer what they offered for the temple without the Lord’s granting it to them. In the first place, everything David and the people had ultimately belonged to the Lord, so they were only giving back to Him what He had trusted them to steward. Moreover, only God could grant Solomon and the people a wholehearted love for the Lord and a complete desire to obey Him (1 Chron. 29:14–19). Why could David confess such a thing? Because He was a sound theologian who understood the wickedness of the human heart; therefore, he knew that only God can grant people circumcised hearts that love Him freely and continually (Deut. 30:6; Ps. 51:5).
By grace, God not only gave Solomon the willingness to build the temple but also exalted him above all Israel, giving him majesty beyond that held by Saul or David (1 Chron. 29:22–25). This is the Lord’s way, is it not? He regularly gives His servants far more than we could ask or think (Eph. 3:20). And this is particularly true of the better kings of Israel, among whom David and Solomon stand out. To David God showed special favor, granting him forty years on the throne and a good old age, full of days (1 Chron. 29:26–30).
It is easy for our prayers to become long lists of requests for things we need or want. While it is appropriate to bring such requests before the Lord when they are not sinful, we should also be focusing on the character of God and praising Him for who He is. Let us seek to do this with humility, remembering that He is sovereign and most worthy of our praise.
Passages for Further Study
1 Kings 3:1–15
2 Chronicles 9:22