Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.
I was just reflecting on the word ‘splendor’, and I realised that it was actually a word that I won’t ever need to use in real life. Why? Because I’m simply not great enough, and I don’t know anybody who is great enough. I’ll probably never know anybody who will ever be great enough that the term ‘splendor’ can be used in association. 1 Chronicles 16 documents the praise and worship song that King David had his team of ministers Asaph and co to sing, praising the Lord before the ark of the covenant, which was a symbol itself of the covenant and the faithfulness of the Lord. In this study, we will examine the greatness of the Lord – the extent of greatness that would make us desire to use a term like ‘splendor’ on Him.
Splendor and majesty are before him – God is great. Not just great, but royally great, regally great, imperially great. It’s the kind of greatness that normal people can never pretend to possess. It’s the kind of greatness that even Splendor and Majesty would prostrate themselves in front of him. They hide not from him. They escape not from him. They are before him, they are him. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory [Psalm 63:2].
strength and joy are in his dwelling place – with greatness comes strength, that is the usual trend. Yet while humanly greatness don’t always guarantee joy and happiness, this greatness of our Lord’s does. Strength and Joy are his dwelling place – he lives in them, he radiates them, he is a living guarantee as a source of strength and joy. If you would turn to the Lord, if you would come before him, you will find strength to face the odds, and you will find the kind of joy that you desire, that you cannot truly hope to find from anywhere else.
Our God is good, and great. It is important to remember that while there are plenty of things we can do for the Lord, it is important to first enter into worship with him. Enter into his presence. Gain his strength, gain his joy. Enjoy his presence, enjoy the splendor and majesty of his greatness. Sometimes we can get easily lost in the need of performing godly works. Sometimes we get so caught up with service. Sometimes we have such high expectations of ourselves doing his works that we forget we’re doing this for him – it’s all about him. It’s like Mary and Martha. The important thing is always to first be in his presence and enjoy his presence. Gain strength and eternal joy. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand [Psalm 16:11]. Everything else can come later.
Where are you looking at, when you are looking for joy? What do you turn to, when you desire strength? We all have our guilty pleasures, indeed. Yet our Lord provides us with eternal pleasures that are embedded with strength. God is great, and his greatness knows no bounds. We don’t need to look elsewhere for splendor. We don’t need to look elsewhere for majesty. Just look up. Look to God.