Worship God Because He is King

Worship God Because He is King

As long as I can remember, I have been interested in British royalty.  I think as a young “Elizabeth” I liked to believe I was named for the Queen even though I knew I was named for my maternal grandmother.  

When Prince Charles and Diana got married, I was just newly married myself, and I relished all things related to their courtship and engagement and got up in time to watch their wedding, even though it was at 5 am EDT.  I loved the formality, the grandeur and elegance, and the attention and adoration of the public.  I was surprised by how much scripture was included.

It didn’t take long after that to realize that there were challenges in the British royal family – which was greatly disappointing.  Though 21 years old, I think I still believed in “the fairy tale.”

Fast forward to an even more grand occasion (following several other royal weddings) – the coronation of King Charles III.   Being in my early 60s, I was way past belief in fairy tales but still intrigued by many of the same attributes of weddings, like formality, grandeur, elegance, and honor.  Even more important to me were the commitments made during the ceremony by the king and the people that were based in scripture, having been changed very little over many centuries.  You might enjoy reading the details, which include biblical prayers, challenges, and pledges. Coronation Order of Service

Despite the significance for Great Britain, though, the coronation of King Charles III was limited in its impact on the world as a whole.  In fact, there is no human sovereign who has reigned or who will reign and can claim any comparison to the King of Kings.

Although the characteristics of kingship are many, I settled on three to help us focus our worship of God as the incomparable sovereign.  His kingdom, His authority, and His glory will lead us to honor, revere, and praise Him.


Let all the people of the earth acknowledge the LORD and turn to him.
Let all the nations worship you.
For the LORD is king
and rules over the nations.  Psalm 22:27-28 (NET)
If someone were introducing you to a king, they would likely include the name of His kingdom.  For instance, King Charles III is the King of the United Kingdom as well as the 14 other Commonwealth realms. Impressive. But limited.

Unlike any earthly king who has ever reigned, God is the king of all kingdoms. Psalm 47 is all about God’s reign as supreme ruler and declares that God is the “great King of all the earth” (v2) and “King over all the earth” (v7).  It also proclaims that “God reigns above the nations” (v8) and that “all the kings of the earth belong to God” (v9).

Don Carson points out an interesting distinction between two aspects of God’s kingdom in an interview on the “Ask Pastor John” Podcast from January 20, 2017[i].  He points to Psalm 145, which teaches God’s reign is over all.  “That is part of the point of many verses in the psalm.  In that sense you are in the kingdom of God whether you like it or not…God reigns.  In that sense, kingdom is virtually equivalent to divine sovereignty or to divine providence.”

Then, using John 3:3, 5, he points out that sometimes the kingdom is “that subset of God’s sovereignty under which there is life…Well, clearly in that sense, there are some people who are in the kingdom and some people who are not.”

My summary of these thoughts is that God’s kingdom includes everything and everyone in one sense, but if you want to be an “insider” in the kingdom, you must be born again.


God’s uniqueness as King isn’t just pertinent to the size of His kingdom but also extends to His authority.

His position as King of all Kings tells us that He is not a figurehead but THE king with full dominion and sovereignty.  As David, the king after God’s own heart led his people in worship during the ascension ceremony of Solomon, He proclaimed,

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12
In Psalm 103 David lists many of the actions of God that demonstrate His sovereignty.  Only a fully sovereign God could:

  • Pardon iniquities
  • Heal diseases
  • Redeem lives
  • Crown us with lovingkindness and compassion
  • Satisfy us
  • Remove our transgressions
  • Know our frame
  • Establish his throne in the heavens
Take a moment to think about familiar Bible stories that teach God’s sovereignty over all.  In Genesis alone, we see the creation, the flood, and the preservation of Joseph to save God's people from famine. And there are many more in just that one book.

Paul referred to God's might and power as he wrapped up his letter to Timothy.  
For at just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. 16 He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No human eye has ever seen him, nor ever will. All honor and power to him forever! Amen. 1 Timothy 6:15-16


Lift up your heads, O gates,
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in!
Who is the King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates,
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in!
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory.
Psalms 24:7-10

Merriam-Webster gives three definitions for the noun "glory,"  that help us as we consider this attribute of God's kingship[i]
  • Something that secures praise or renown
  • A state of great gratification or exaltation
  • Great beauty and splendor
All of these are covered in passages teaching about God's reign over all.  Another term that comes to mind as a synonym is "majesty."

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  Psalm 8:1
If you watched the coronation, Queen Elizabeth's funeral, or any of the royal weddings, you must have been moved by the majesty of the proceedings.  The ornate clothing and other symbols like the scepter, crown, robe, and throne.

God’s majesty is displayed in creation for us to see clearly.  We also have Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, and John’s visions of the throne room of God.  Surely, it would have been impossible to describe the majesty and glory except through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

I wonder if you are like me in getting so comfortable in your relationship with God through the amazing sacrifice of Christ our Savior that we forget the indescribable majesty and glory of our King.  The King of all kings.

While the Lord our God is sovereign, He will not force us to surrender our lives to Him.  Have you crowned him King of your life, or are you still trying to stay in control?  Perhaps you hold out the crown but never quite give it all to Him.  Take time to consider how marvelous it is to be surrendered to the one true King.

Forgive us for failing to recognize your Kingship over all of heaven and the earth; 
Your sovereignty over all kingdoms – physical and spiritual
Your dominion that will result in complete victory at the end of the age.

Forgive us for endeavoring to take back the crown that rightly belongs to you.  

Lord, we praise you that you are the King of glory.  

Help us to recognize your glory 
    In creation
    In your plan for salvation
    In how you work in our lives
    In answered prayer
So that we will bow and worship you.