PREPARING FOR THE KING
We appreciate, oh Lord, Solomon’s reign and all that You did for him.
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[a] 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[b] 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[c] 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,[d]
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.
a Psalm 72:5 Septuagint; Hebrew You will be feared
b Psalm 72:8 That is, the Euphrates
c Psalm 72:16 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text Lebanon, / from the city
d Psalm 72:17 Or will use his name in blessings (see Gen. 48:20)
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.
“Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.” (Ps 24:7)
This is the only psalm that directly concerns Solomon, under whose reign Israel’s fortunes reached their zenith. It is a prayer for his prosperity and the extension of his kingdom, highlight-ing his renown among the nations and the subduing of his enemies. Behind this is the belief that what is good for the king is good for the people. Blessing on him is blessing on all.
The psalm is elaborate and somewhat triumphal. One might imagine it being sung in the tem-ple, built during Solomon’s reign, with the king basking in its uplifting words. If so, and if the king were paying attention, he might also have recognized an implicit criticism. Kings in Israel were like constitutional rather than absolute monarchs. They were subject to God’s law. Their rights and duties were written down and deposited in the temple (1 Samuel 10:25). The king must have heard the part of this psalm’s prayer that he defend the afflicted and crush the oppressor (4) and that he deliver the needy and protect the weak (12, 13). Radical expectations indeed! The extent to which he, or any other ruler, does this is the true test of whether they are worthy of the praise they receive.
Like many of the kings of Israel, Solomon was destined to disappoint. It was because of the fail-ure in Israel of kingship to deliver that the hope arose of an ideal future king: an anointed one, a son of David, who would be what none of the others had been, even at their best. For the same reason, when disciples of Christ read this psalm they probably saw in it the one who was to come and is to come again, the true King to whom all kings will bow down and whom nations will serve. This is a ruler of a different order.
Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ (John 18:36).
God, your people clearly see Jesus as a king superior to His ancestor Solomon or any other earthly king.
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