1 Chronicles 29
1 Chronicles 29 recounts the story of David’s "passing the baton" to his son Solomon. In his final speech, he challenged Solomon and the people to remain true to the Lord, and then there was a large celebration with music, feasting, and joy. But tucked away into the description of the festivities was, I thought, a very important lesson about God.
After the feast was over, Solomon assumed the throne: "Then they acknowledged Solomon son of David as king a second time, anointing him before the Lord to be ruler and Zadok to be priest. So Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king in place of his father David. He prospered and all Israel obeyed him... The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him royal splendor such as no king over Israel ever had before." (vs 22-23, 25)
God, King of the Universe, is not now (nor has He ever been) out to exalt Himself. Rather, He exalts His creation. Verse 23 says that Solomon sat on the throne... of the Lord. It wasn’t Solomon’s throne. It wasn’t Israel’s throne. It was the Lord’s throne. And He was letting someone else sit on it! Here we have God literally handing over control of a nation that is His to Solomon—investing him with honor, wealth, and responsibility.
And, if we had missed the implication there, verse 25 spelled it out clearly: The Lord highly exalted Solomon. This is exactly what God is like. He doesn’t hoard honor and glory for Himself. He doesn’t live to have His head puffed up with the glory of His position. Instead, He uses His position to exalt others. He lets His creation sit on His throne. He bestows honor and glory and power on us.
The Jesus who knelt in the Upper Room to wash the feet of His disciples wasn’t practicing some newly-found humility. This has always been what God is like. From the very beginning, He has taken every available opportunity to lift us up, exalt us, and honor us. If, in turn, we exalt Him, we can be part of an unending cycle of humility and respect that will last for all eternity.