Weds 4 November - Psalm 72
1 Endow the king with your justice, O God,
the royal son with your righteousness.
2 May he judge your people in righteousness,
your afflicted ones with justice.
3 May the mountains bring prosperity to the people,
the hills the fruit of righteousness.
4 May he defend the afflicted among the people
and save the children of the needy;
may he crush the oppressor.
5 May he endure as long as the sun,
as long as the moon, through all generations.
6 May he be like rain falling on a mown field,
like showers watering the earth.
7 In his days may the righteous flourish
and prosperity abound till the moon is no more.
8 May he rule from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9 May the desert tribes bow before him
and his enemies lick the dust.
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores
bring tribute to him.
May the kings of Sheba and Seba
present him with gifts.
11 May all kings bow down to him
and all nations serve him.
12 For he will deliver the needy who cry out,
the afflicted who have no one to help.
13 He will take pity on the weak and the needy
and save the needy from death.
14 He will rescue them from oppression and violence,
for precious is their blood in his sight.
15 Long may he live!
May gold from Sheba be given to him.
May people ever pray for him
and bless him all day long.
16 May corn abound throughout the land;
on the tops of the hills may it sway.
May the crops flourish like Lebanon
and thrive[c] like the grass of the field.
17 May his name endure for ever;
may it continue as long as the sun.
Then all nations will be blessed through him,[d]
and they will call him blessed.
18 Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel,
who alone does marvellous deeds.
19 Praise be to his glorious name for ever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen.
20 This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse.
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Meditation on Psalm 72
It seems strange that at a time when we cannot sing in church, we are going through the Psalms, many of which have been turned into songs.
Psalm 72 is no exception. Isaac Watts used this Psalm to write his song, ‘Jesus shall reign where ‘ere the sun…’, using it to look ahead to Jesus as the King of kings.
A hundred years later Montgomery also used this Psalm to write his song, ‘Hail to the Lord’s anointed’.
Montgomery is also looking forward to Jesus as God’s anointed King.
They would have based their songs on the AV but most modern translations take this Psalm as a prayer.
The title ‘of Solomon’ could mean ‘by him’ or ‘for him’.
He is referring to his own reign but is also looking forward prophetically to the reign of Christ. Although there are no NT references to this Psalm, the similarities between all that was good and right about the kings of Israel and the kingdom of Christ are there for all to see.
Thus, this Psalm is both prayer and prophecy.
Verse 1 An opening prayer
In order for the king’s rule to reflect the character of God he needs justice and righteousness to rule.
Remember what Solomon asked for? I Kings 3:9 “give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.’
Verses 2-7 The characteristics of his reign
- defending the poor
- rescuing the children in need
- defeating the oppressors
Fast forward to Jesus - ‘He is our righteousness’ 1 Corinthians 1:30
‘He is our peace’ Ephesians 2:14
Verses 8-11 The boundaries of his reign
For Solomon, his reign grew and extended…
- from the river to the ends of the earth
- to the desert tribes
- to the kings of Tarshish, Sheba and Seba
This goes back to the promises made by God to Moses cf. Exodus 23:32
And this continues during Solomon’s reign, albeit with a few blips on the way.
It continued on to the coming of Jesus and will continue to grow until that day when Jesus comes again and His prayer, ‘Your kingdom come’, is finally answered, when, according to Revelation 11:15, ‘the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and He will reign for ever and ever.’
Verses 12-14 The compassion of his reign
As a partner to the reign of righteousness and justice, the king shows mercy.
Remember Habakuk’s prayer in Habakuk 3:2 ‘in wrath, remember mercy.’
The demands of righteousness and justice are not put to one side while mercy and compassion are shown. Rather, they go together as the king shows compassion to the needy, the weak and the afflicted.
We see this supremely in Jesus who reached out to those who cried out, whose voice wasn’t being heard.
We, as subjects of the King, are expected to follow His example.
Verses 15-17a The longing for his reign
Here is a prayer for Solomon’s reign:
- a bountiful harvest
We, too, are bidden to pray for those in authority.
Verses 17b-20 All praise and thanks to God
We are taken back to the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
We are taken forward to that day when, as Paul says to the Philippians, ‘at the name of Jesus EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.’
“Come, Lord Jesus.”
Thursday 5 November - Psalm 73
Friday 6 November - Psalm 74
Saturday 7 November - Psalm 75
Sunday 8 November - Psalm 76
Monday 9 November - Psalm 77
Tuesday 10 November - Psalm 78