Psalm 72: The Whole Earth Filled with His Glory!
April 1, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
This is apparently a prayer “of David” (72:20) about his Solomon (“the royal son,” 72:1). There are three themes of this prayer: justice, blessing, and kingdom expansion globally. The first central theme of this prayer is “justice”:
“Give the king your justice, O God” (72:1)
“May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice!” (72:2)
“Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!” (72:3)
“May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!” (72:4)
“For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight.” (72:12-14)
A key prayer for this king, then, is that he would do what is right, that he would protect the poor from oppression, that his rule would be marked with righteousness. Is this our prayer, and our wish, for our rulers? That they would rule in justice? At the heart of the Bible’s vision of godly governmental rule is fairness, righteousness, justice. Pray that our kings and rulers would rule righteously.
But then the psalm also prays that the rule of Solomon would be effective and successful. Blessing is another key of this prayer for the king:
“Long may he live; may gold of Sheba be given to him!” (72:15)
“May there be abundance of grain in the land” (72:16)
“May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun!” (72:17)
In the Bible it is important that we pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:2), and also submit to those in authority (Romans 13:3). Is this our attitude towards government? Do we pray for those who rule over us that their rule would not only be righteous but also be blessed?
Finally, though, the prayer focuses on God’s glory—which connects our thinking not so much to secular authorities and kingdoms, but to the kingdom of God as it is extends through the church, and to the King of that kingdom, Christ himself. Pray that the rule of government would give us peace so that the gospel can flourish to the extension of God’s kingdom.
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!” (72:18-19)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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