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Read Psalm 72

Of Solomon.

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 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 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 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,
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.

Go Deeper

As we read the Bible, we can’t forget that it is both historical and prophetic. At first read of Psalm 72, we may think it’s a prayer for an earthly king to reign with wisdom and righteousness; however, it is also a declaration of hope for an eternal king to reign “and all kings bow to him and all nations serve him.” It is both a personal prayer request to rule well and prophetic praise for one who rules forever. 

Most scholars believe this psalm is written about Solomon. Either written by David or Solomon, we aren’t certain. But no matter who wrote it, the message is clear: a good, righteous, and wise king will bring justice to the poor, save the children of the needy, and break the pieces of the oppressor.

Solomon was the wisest king who ever lived. His influence was great and his kingdom vast. He started off strong with great intentions; but, because Solomon was unfaithful to God, his reign was not as great a blessing as it could have been. His reign fulfilled some of the criteria mentioned in this psalm, but insufficient in fulfilling all.  

All Scripture points to Jesus. All of it. Verse 8 shifts our perspective from the earthly king to an eternal one, a greater King. One whose reign will not end. Whose Kingdom encompasses the whole earth. Whose righteousness and justice are perfect. When Solomon’s successor returns to earth and establishes His reign, the requests and criteria of this psalm will be fulfilled in Messiah AND King who is Jesus. The King who brings justice, rescue, and freedom. 

Questions

  1. Based on Psalm 72, what are characteristics that mark a good King? 
  2. We may not be kings, but we all have leadership opportunities. Are your leadership characteristics similar to a good king? What do you need to change?
  3. Solomon spoke wisely, but failed to act. We’d be wise to learn from him. We all have influence. Are there situations or circumstances in your life where you say what the right thing to do is, but have failed to follow through with actions? What is one step you’ll take toward action?

Did You Know?

It was custom with many nations that when anyone approached or met kings, they kissed the earth and laid prostrate before them. Anytime in Scripture, when someone was met by God, they fell prostrate before Him.

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2 thoughts on “Psalm 72”

  1. Am I here before Ella? But in all seriousness, today of all days, this speaks volumes. As it is Good Friday, this really shows what a mighty king we serve. One who was willing to sacrifice himself, without spot or blemish, to bring hope and love to an underserving people. God is so good and where kings of old failed, He will not. Praise Jesus!

  2. Ella Snodgrass

    Psalm 72 reveals 2 themes, that of justice and righteousness. David, son of Jesse, has experienced both in his long life and pleads for God to permanently establish his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. V19 says “May His glorious name be praised forever; the whole earth be filled with His glory.” This week we celebrate the Savior, our Messiah King. Hope springs eternal as Jesus, the precious, spotless Lamb of God sacrifices his perfect life for sinful man. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Let that sink in! Through Christ we now are made righteous in the sight of God, and that is the news of the gospel! “Oh, praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead, JESUS.”

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