Read – 1 Chronicles 29:11 – Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.
YHWH is different from any of the other gods worshiped in the ancient world. Believing in the supernatural wasn’t out of the ordinary, but it was unusual to believe that one god was god of all things. Zeus may have been king of the Greek pantheon, but he wasn’t god of crabs or childbirth or the harvest. Most cultures had a huge number of gods, each with a specific role that ranged from vague and general (like Isis, goddess of motherhood, magic, fertility, death, healing, and rebirth), to ridiculously specific (like Matton, goddess of kneading dough.) Simply following a daily schedule, a man or woman in the Ancient Near East would pray to hundreds of gods and goddesses as they interacted with the world around them. Woke up? Pray in gratitude to Hypnos. Ate breakfast? Pray in honor of Demeter. Made some cheese? Pray to Aristaeus. Greatness, power, glory, majesty, and splendor would have been decentralized to a litany of deities.
But in this passage, we give all those attributes to one God. Everything falls under his purview. He is the God of spiders and sunrises, of life and death, love and kneading dough. Instead of lifting their hands to worship a different god for every action, the Israelites worshiped only Jehovah. However, we can learn something from the ancients about giving honor to God in all things. Perhaps we should wake up and pray in gratitude to God. Perhaps we should worship him as we eat breakfast and make cheese. The whole earth is the work of his hands, and all things are a testament to his greatness, power, glory, majesty, and splendor.