“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your Name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness!” Israel existed for the glory of Almighty God. The Lord’s covenant mercies would lead to many blessings for all who would fear Him, but those good gifts might not come to people who imagined that devotion to Him was just a means to an end. Those who above all longed for their own glory—money, fame, power—would seek to gain everything they hoped for through some religious method. They would miss the joy that God has for those who cast their crowns at His feet and seek His glory more than all the gifts that He gives them.
The world all around the people of Israel was full of idols. The people of the nations made many gods, hoping to gain from them the blessings that they desired. They tried to receive abundant life from lifeless objects. They wanted what people everywhere want—prosperity, happiness, and the approval of those around them. They thought that prayers to gods of wood and stone might help them. But what can dead gods give? Those who make them and trust in them only become like them.
The people of Israel needed to be different from neighboring nations. They were called to put their trust in the Lord. The living God would help them and protect them. The priests of the Lord and all who worshiped God according to His Word needed to believe in Him.
The blessings of the Lord would come to His covenant family as the gifts of His steadfast love and faithfulness. He who would one day send His Son to die for their sins was willing and able to supply all the needs of the faithful according to His riches in glory. The Lord who “made heaven and earth” would help the families of His chosen ones, “both the small and the great.” He would be their God and they would be His people.
Even if idol worship seemed to produce rain, fertility, or military victory, it should have been obvious that only a living God could take His people beyond death. The families of the earth needed a God who would provide a way for them to praise Him forever. The death and resurrection of Christ was the only credible solution to this universal longing for eternal life. Jesus alone has satisfied the demands of God’s justice and demonstrated to all that life beyond the grave is more than a dream. Those who have found spiritual life today through a relationship with the reigning Christ can walk even now in the eternal blessings that other gods could never supply.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Great God, we give You glory. There is no one like You. You do all that You please. The idols of the nations can do nothing. They are a dreadful snare to all who trust in them. Grant that we would trust You and follow You forever. We will fear You and serve You every day through Jesus Christ. Forgive our sins, and cause us to walk with a confident expectation of the coming resurrection.