God Desires to Give Us the Kingdom
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. —Matthew 6:13, NKJV
One thing is quite certain: many of us have prayed these beautiful words—and I myself shall continue to do so. After all, the words are absolutely true, even if Jesus did not say them. And if we repeat these words when we pray the Lord’s Prayer, it certainly would be good to know what we are saying!
The origin of this phrase goes back to King David. When David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, he said:
Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. 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. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. —1 Chronicles 29:10–13
This is a wonderful statement of praise. A summary of King David’s words of adoration bring the Lord’s Prayer to a magnificent benediction: “Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Many people say, “Forever and ever. Amen.”
When David said, “Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all” (1 Chron. 29:11), this was Israel’s king acknowledging the kingship of God. King David humbly and rightly acknowledged that he himself was under God, Israel’s true King. Every existing monarch in the world should do this. “I am your King,” God wanted Israel to know and never forget (Isa. 43:15).
Therefore, King David makes up for Israel’s failure. They demanded their own king, to be like other nations (1 Sam. 8:19–20). God acquiesced and told Samuel to let them have their way (1 Sam. 8:7, 9, 22). God granted their request but sent leanness into their souls (Ps. 106:15, KJV).
What Israel failed to affirm, then—that God was their true King—King David made up for. He was careful never to forget that God was his and Israel’s King. He refused to take himself seriously, as King Saul did. Saul became “yesterday’s man.” We too will become yesterday’s men or women if we take ourselves too seriously, promoting ourselves to the level of a calling that did not come from God. We can know we are today’s men and women to the degree the Holy Spirit rules in us ungrieved. Therefore before all Israel David proclaimed, “Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all” (1 Chron. 29:11).
When we repeat the words “Yours is the kingdom,” we affirm not only that God our heavenly Father is our King but also that the kingdom belongs to Him. It is His, not ours; He shares it with us as He is pleased to do. Jesus said of those who are poor in spirit, “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3). He also said it of those who are persecuted for the cause of Jesus Christ: “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10). This does not mean that they own it, or that they are in charge, as if they were the head. No. But it does mean that they inherit the kingdom by God’s sovereign pleasure and are given a special consciousness of the very real presence of God. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).
When Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7), He primarily was referring to our receiving the kingdom. To inherit and enjoy the kingdom is what Jesus is emphasizing in the Sermon on the Mount. Many people take Matthew 7:7 out of context and apply it to almost everything they have a wish for, and God may even accommodate them. But the context of Matthew 7:7 is that we will be hungry for God and thirsting after the righteousness Jesus described. To those who want this, Jesus simply says, “Ask for it, and you will receive it.” Yes, it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom.