Praise Be to the King!
June 17th – Les Kovacs Psalm 72
Observe: Psalm 72 is a joyous prayer written for the coronation of King Solomon, but which also foreshadows the coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
The opening verses 1-4 of the psalm start by asking God to endow the king with His justice and righteousness so he can rule the people with and justice, and that God’s blessings and protection fall on the people because of the king’s righteous reign.
The next verses 5-11, ask God’s blessing on his reign with longevity, righteousness, and prosperity. May the kings of the nations near and far be subject to him and bring hm great tribute.
The following verses 12-15, ascribe to the king great and heroic attributes of delivering the weak and needy from oppression and violence.
This is followed in verses 16-18 by a petition for successful production of the land so that the crops will flourish and that all nations will be blessed because of him.
And finally, verses 18-20 end with praises being lifted to the God of Israel.
Interpret: Although the psalm was written to commemorate the installation of Solomon, the son of David, as king of Israel, any Christian cannot help but see the parallels to the even greater son of David, Jesus Christ. Like Solomon, Jesus too was descended from the Royal House of David.
Although this particular psalm is not considered one of the Messianic Psalms because it was written for Solomon, if you replaced all the pronouns of “he”, “him”, or “his”, or each reference to the “king” with the name of Jesus, every verse would be an apt descriptor of our Lord, but to an even greater degree than the merely mortal Solomon.
It is Jesus who will rule over His people with the ultimate sense of justice and righteousness. It is Jesus who will reign for eternity and to whom all people, nations and rulers will bow down before. It is Jesus who will deliver His people from injustice and oppression of every kind, when He brings the new heaven and the new earth where “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev 21-4). And it is Jesus, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, to whom we will forever sing our praises
This is a psalm fit for a King.
Application: David was a great king of Israel. Solomon was the wisest king of Israel. Over the millennia, there have been many good and wise rulers, not only for Israel, but for the various nations of the earth. But each of these rulers, whether kings, or presidents, or prime ministers are merely human beings. As such, they have their own set of faults, biases, or agendas. No matter how “good” they may be at their job, they like the rest of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:23)
Despite having a heart after God’s own heart, David committed a myriad of sins. Despite being given great wisdom, Solomon eventually lost his way. Every human leader in history has fallen victim to the desires of their own hearts. But it’s not just our leaders who fall short of our expectations by giving into their sinful impulses. We fall prey to sin every day.
Yet because of our good and perfect King Jesus, we have something that we can celebrate every day. As His disciples, we know what awaits us when He returns. We know that He will rule with righteousness, mercy, and love. But we also know that we don’t have to wait for His return for Him to be our saviour. Because of His sacrifice for us, we have the Holy Spirit within us, to be our guide, our comfort, our shield in times of trouble. He can do for us what our earthly leaders can never do. Jesus is the only one in whom we can place our trust fully and completely, and who is most deserving of our praise and adoration.
What better imagery could the psalmist have employed to convey the idea of the most beneficial and blessed effects that follow the descent of Jesus, the Son of God, upon the earth, and that of His Holy Spirit, during Pentecost?
Prayer: Father God, we praise you and bless the name of Jesus above all things. He is the King of kings, and Lord of lords. He alone is the hope of all the nations of the earth. Open our lips, Lord, and our mouths will declare your praise. This we pray in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
Song: You're Beautiful – Phil Wickham
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In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.