Only God is Great

I was reading recently about King Louis XIV of France. Louis was crowned king at age 4 and was the longest reigning king of any major European country in history. He held power during numerous major wars including the Franco-Dutch war, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish succession. He expanded the famous Palace of Versailles into the luxurious estate that it is today. The American state of Louisiana was named after him after Cavelier De la Salle claimed it in his name. He was, by all worldly standards, an incredibly “great” man. He even named himself “Louis the Great.” And yet in 1715, like every single human before him, he passed from this world into eternity. Prior to his death, however, he had his people put together a grand plan for his funeral…an incredible worship service dedicated to the life and accomplishments of this man. Quite literally a worship service. They entombed his body in a large tomb made of silver and gold and encrusted with jewels. And to dramatize his greatness, they lit a candle above his tomb that was intended to be kept burning forever. When the service began, Bishop Massillon, appointed to preside over the funeral, stood up in front of thousands of mourners and worshipers and he ascended to the pulpit in front of the tomb. Saying nothing, he stunned the crowd when he bent down and extinguished the candle that represented this man’s supposed greatness. He then paused, and from the darkness uttered four words: “Only God is great.”




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