In 1715, King Louis XIV of France died after a 72 year reign. He had called himself “the Great,” and was the monarch who made the famous statement, “I am the state!” His court was the most magnificent in Europe and his funeral was equally spectacular. As his body lay in state in a golden coffin, orders were given that the cathedral should be very dimly lit with only a special candle set above his coffin, to dramatize his greatness. At the memorial, thousands waited in hushed silence. Then Bishop Massilon began to speak; slowly reaching down, he snuffed out the candle and said, “Only God is great.”
Only God is truly great! But a bold statement like this is a huge understatement. Of all the verses in Scripture 1 Timothy 1:17 does one of the best jobs of capturing God’s greatness, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” Let’s break down these attributes:
- King eternal. God is king, but He is not like every other king who has died. He is eternally in power and on the throne (Matthew 6:13). No matter what age, what time, or what place, our God is king of them all! He is going to exist forever. What an honor to be a part of the one king and kingdom that will never fall (Daniel 2:44).
- Immortal. God does not ever grow old or weak. He has never lost strength or power and never will (1 Timothy 6:16). Sometimes immortality seems like a mythical attribute, but it is nice to know that our God actually possesses this.
- Invisible. Our God is one that is not flesh and blood in this realm, but He is still here. He is present but is not seen. He is not bound by the human confinements of this world. This could even be speaking to the omnipresence of God. He is everywhere, even though He is not seen. Such an attribute is hard to comprehend, but it just further shows the greatness of God (Colossians 1:15).
- The Only God. Despite what many nations and people have said over time, there is only one God (Ephesians 4:6). Not only has our Lord proved that He is superior to any man-made “god,” but over time it is quite evident there are not many gods in control of various aspects of the universe, but just one supreme God. Even beyond all of this, we are able to have a direct line of communication with God in prayer, and have the privilege to worship Him. This is truly wonderful! How undeserving we are.
- Honor. This is what God deserves from us (Matthew 4:10). This has to do with submission and compliance. Not only should we submit to Him as the ruler of our lives, but we should also comply with the requests He has made known to us in His word.
- Glory Forever and Ever. This has to do verbal adoration and praise. He is deserving of the songs we sing about Him, and the words we speak to others about Him (Ephesians 3:20-21). Because of the wonderful things God has done for us, He is MORE than deserving of this adoration and praise from us. Not only is He worthy of this, but we should do this forever and ever.
These are just a few of the incredible attributes of God. We truly serve an amazing God. May we always recognize the honor and obedience He deserves.