Friday, April 20, 2012

The Reign of the King

[A Psalm for Solomon]

1 Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son.

2 He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.

3 The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.

4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.

5 They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.

6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.

7 In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.

8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.

9 They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.

10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.

11 Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.

12 For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper.

13 He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.

14 He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.

15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised.

16 There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.

17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.

18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.

19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

—Psalm 72 KJV Bible

The psalm description says it is a psalm of Solomon, son of David and king of Israel following David's death. Though the description implies that Solomon wrote the psalm, some suggest that David wrote the psalm for Solomon. Psalm 127 is the only other psalm attributed to Solomon.

This royal psalm historically references the reign of Solomon, but it is also considered a Messianic psalm—prophetically referencing the ideal King, God's Messiah, Jesus. In this psalm, the king prays that his reign will be characterized by righteousness, peace, power, compassion, and prosperity.

In verses 1 through 4, the king prays that his reign will be characterized by righteousness. It will abound so greatly that even the desolate regions will bring forth blessings. The young, the afflicted and the needy will be defended from oppressors.

In verses 5 through 7, the king prays that his reign will be characterized by peace. The king will live and reign forever. His reign will be a blessing that renews the land like showers that water the earth. Righteousness will flourish and there will be eternal peace.

In verses 8 through 11, the king prays that his reign will be characterized by power. The king will rule the entire earth. Even those that live in nomadic regions will acknowledge his rule. In verse 9, the king prays that his enemies will "lick the dust"—a symbol of utter defeat. For the competitor, a contemporary version of this phrase might be to "eat my dust." All of the nations will bring tribute to the king. All of the nations’ leaders will bow down and serve the king.

In verses 12 through 15, the king prays that his reign will be characterized by compassion. The king will defend those that have no defender. He will help those who have no helper. He will have compassion on the poor and needy and he will save their souls. The oppressed are precious to the king—he will rescue them from violence and evil. The king will live forever, receive gifts, and be prayed for and blessed all the day long.

In verses 16 through 17, the king prays that his reign will be characterized by prosperity. Fruit and Grain will be so abundant that they will even grow on the mountain tops. The king’s name will endure and grow forever, all will bless themselves in his name, and all nations will call him blessed.

Verses 18 through 20 are concluding notes of praise to God. They close Book II of the Psalms, which began with Psalm 42. Verse 20 notes the end of the psalms ("prayers") of David. David was the chief author of Book II, though not the only one. Another benediction for David may be found in 2 Samuel 23:1-4.

Father, I look forward to the coming reign of Your Son. May He will reign in righteousness, in peace, in power, with compassion, and in prosperity. I thank You and I praise You.


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