CHANGE THE WORLD!
Lord God, You are good, You are righteous, and You are Lord. You have every right to rule my life.
Read 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 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 him.
May people ever pray for him
and bless him all day long.
16 May grain abound throughout the land;
on the tops of the hills may it sway.
May the crops flourish like Lebanon
and thrive like the grass of the field.
17 May his name endure forever;
may it continue as long as the sun.
Then all nations will be blessed through him,
and they will call him blessed.
18 Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel,
who alone does marvelous deeds.
19 Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen.
20 This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“If we are willing to learn the meaning of real discipleship and actually become disciples… the resultant impact on society would be staggering” (David Watson, 1933–1984).
At the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, the service included prayers for her reign. In today’s psalm, we have a prayer that was possibly used at a royal coronation, focusing on the relationship between the king and the people and, by extension, the outworking of that relationship on the fruitfulness of the land.
The psalm provides insight into how Israel understood the ideal relationship between king, God and people. As God’s representative, the king is required to show God’s justice to the people and defend the rights of the poor (1–4). Through this action, the earth is itself blessed. The people pray for the king’s life, compare the effect of the king on the nation with that of rain on fertile soil (5–8) and ask that the king’s influence will extend beyond the borders of the nation (9–11). The essential characteristic of his reign is his care for the poor and needy (12–14), and the people pray again for the fertility of the land, linked as it is with the reign of the king (16–20). In this idealized portrait of the king’s rule, the land and people experience a shalom that embraces all creation.
Of course, the reality in Israel did not meet the ideal, but the hope for it never died out, leading, in part, to the development of the hope for the Messiah. In Jesus, we know that this ideal king has come. Our prayer is that the dynamism of the relationship between king and people in this psalm is lived out in our relationship with our king so that, as the people pray, the world is changed. The challenge for us is whether we believe this can happen and whether our relationship with Jesus has that dynamism. Just imagine what could happen!
Could you honestly say that God is your ruler? If not, who is? If so, what about your life reveals God’s rule? What does it mean to have God as King of your life?
Mighty God, my natural tendency is to let no one rule over me. I need a special provision of Your grace that will enable me to be countercultural and say and show that You are my Lord!
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.