Who’s the King?
My Lord God and Savior, as the New Year approaches, may I enter it in greater love, trust and obedience to You.
Read PSALM 72:1-20
 Of Solomon.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Hail to the Lord’s anointed, … / He comes to break oppression, / to set the captive free; / to take away transgression, / and rule in equity” (James Montgomery, 1771-1854).
This psalm takes the form of a prayer in which the writer asks for God’s help to rule well. We see characteristics of what should be hoped for in a prosperous rule.
Royal righteousness (1-4). Blessings over the king can only happen through the will and gift of God, so prayer is made that God will give to his anointed one the ability to do the right thing in the right way. A godly ruler will aim to ensure that those in most need receive adequate protection and help (4). Such a kingdom will experience blessing and prosperity (3). An enduring and global kingdom (5-11). Nearness to God will result in a fruitful life. Since he acts on behalf of God, “his kingdom [will] stretch from shore to shore” (Isaac Watts). Other national leaders will pay tribute to him, and his enemies will own his authority over them (9,10). Compassionate rule and universal blessing (12-20). He’ll have time for his poorest subjects, those whose needs require special care (12-14). On this basis, he will receive the prayers of his people (15). Nations will acknowledge him as favored by God (17).
What a leader this would make! While an earthly, Davidic ruler is in mind, we can also see this psalm as pointing us forward to a vision of Christ, the royal Son. Through the Messianic kingship of Jesus, there will be a glorious and just rule throughout the earth (Zech. 9:9-13). In him, the helpless find healing and salvation, and in fulfillment of royal righteousness, he will bring healing to all creation. This is a magnificent prayer for a leader and their country, but also for the King and his kingdom, as his reign spreads over all the earth.
If the Church lived more fully under the authority of its King, what would it be like, according to this psalm? Would your church change? If so, how?
Mighty God, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven! That’s my prayer for the year ahead. May it be so.
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