Psalm 72

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, July 1, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

As we’ve been looking into the psalms this year, we’ve seen many of them that are attributed to King David. Psalm 72, however, is attributed to King Solomon, David’s son. It is known as a “royal psalm” because it speaks of David’s kingship, as well as Jesus as the Messiah, and it expresses hope and prayers for the nation. The message of this psalm applies to the rule of David back in those days as well as the rule of Jesus that is to come.

The psalm opens in verse 1 saying, “Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness.” The psalmist, David’s son Solomon, is asking for God’s blessing on the reigning dynasty of Israel. He knows that one day, God’s promises will be fulfilled through his descendant, but he also knows that he has to live a righteous life and be a righteous king in order for that to take place. He expresses his need for God in his life to accomplish that. We too should ask God for His justice and righteousness to be present in our lives, so we can glorify Him in the way we live.

Verses 2-4 go on to express this hope for receiving God’s righteousness. In those days, the king would either bring prosperity or hardship on the nation. In these verses, Solomon is praying that the king, meaning both himself and future kings, would be righteous and bring prosperity to their land. These verses, and actually most of this psalm, contain “May he…” statements, expressing hope for what the leader would do.

All of these “May he…” statements point to earthly kings, but they also point to Jesus. One prophetic statement that stands out is at the end of verse 4: “may he crush the oppressor.” That is exactly what Jesus’ mission was - to crush the devil and his power, as was prophesied way back in Genesis 3:15.

In verses 5-7, the psalm continues with more statements expressing hope, particularly here for the king to live a long life. It’s not only expressing hope for an individual king to live a long time, but for the righteous rule over God’s people to be everlasting. We see this fulfilled in 1 Kings 2:45: “But King Solomon will be blessed, and David’s throne will remain secure before the Lord forever.” This applies also to Jesus, as we know He will reign forever one day when He comes again. Revelation 11:15 says, “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.’”

We see in verses 8-11 that this rule will not be limited by geography. While David’s kingdom did not cover all of the geographic area mentioned, the idea expressed is for righteous rule to be present everywhere in the world. This hasn’t happened with any earthly king, but we know it will happen with Jesus as King one day. When the Magi came to visit Jesus as a child and worshipped Him (Matthew 2:11), it represented the Gentiles (non-Jews) recognizing Jesus as ruler over all. One day, all the nations will submit to Jesus as Lord.

We see a desire for social justice in verses 12-14. The people desire a ruler who will deliver the needy and afflicted, take pity on them, and rescue them from their oppression. A righteous king should not only be concerned with those who are wealthy but those who have no material goods to offer him. All are part of his kingdom. The same applies with Jesus, that He cares for every single person and desires to deliver everyone one day from whatever oppression is in their lives. Verses 15-17 again express the desire for prosperity and longevity for the king and his kingdom. If their own nation is prosperous and blessed, then they can in turn bless other nations around them.

The psalm concludes in verses 18-19 with a blessing: “Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.” All of the longevity and prosperity in this psalm is impossible and pointless without God; He alone does marvelous deeds and is worthy of all our praise.

In our culture today, are we praying that our leaders would have the righteousness and justice of God in their lives? Are we desiring the longevity and prosperity of our leaders, and therefore our nation? Are we praying for the unity of our country, and for our leaders to follow God? I encourage you to think about these things this week as we celebrate the birthday of our nation here in the United States. Pray that God would be our true leader and guide, and that He would not only bless us as individuals but as a nation that seeks after Him.

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