In Chronicles today we have the climax to King David’s life. Consider the scene: he had made great provision for building the temple; others followed his example and “the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord” (1 Chronicles 29:9).
Consider now the exalted spirit in David’s final public prayer. “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 the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name” (verses 11-13).
Take special note of the change of thought that now comes. David’s vision of life and all that it amounts to, causes him to say, “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding” (verses 14,15).
David understood the reality of the human condition in contrast to God’s. He then becomes very personal about his relationship with God. “I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you … keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you” (verses 17,18).
Let us emulate David’s prayer whenever we pray for each other. After David fell asleep Solomon becomes king. David’s Psalm 17 provides a fitting epitaph to these thoughts. Note particularly its last verse: “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” David has set us a heart moving example and meditation that we should follow!