Psalm 72 - May your Righteous King Reign Over the Earth

Book of Psalms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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There will be a righteous king whose rule will never end

Psalm 72 is one of hope and transition. It is a both a royal and messianic psalm. Scholars have debated whether it is a psalm written by or about Solomon. Historical evidence is inconclusive but semantically It appears to be a psalms written by Solomon. It is one of only two psalms written by him (the other is psalm 127). It is a prayer that his reign be righteous, prosperous, global, and never-ending. Like Ps. 2 it anticipates the establishment of the Lord’s anointed as sovereign over the nations. Also like that psalm the prayer and hope here isn’t fulfillment during the reign of any king of Israel or Judah. As such we must look forward to a greater fulfillment at a later time. This is only possible in and through one person, the messiah himself Christ Jesus our Lord. We can break this psalm into parts:
Prayer for the righteous rule of the king (vs. 1 - 7)
Prayer for the global rule of the king (vs. 8 - 11)
Anticipation of the kings defense of the oppressed (vs. 12 - 14)
Prayer for the prosperity of the king and kingdom (vs. 15 - 17)
Doxology of Praise to the God of Israel (vs. 18 - 20)
Verses 1 - 7: Solomon begins by asking that king be given the wisdom of God so he rule righteously and impartially. At his coronation the king was to receive a copy of the book of the law for him to study so he could know the ways of the Lord. Solomon would need to know the law, live by the law, and how to apply it to all situations, including those not described in the law. If this happens, the kingdom will experience prosperity and refreshing throughout the land. He prays that the Davidic king would defend the cast down and afflicted, those who are weak and can’t defend themselves. In contrast, he is to mete out justice and destroy the wicked and their plots. He also desires that the king be feared and honored throughout all his days and that the faithful and upright peacefully prosper in the land.
Verses 8 - 11: As in Ps. 2 Solomon desires for the reign of the Davidic dynasty to extend beyond the borders of Israel. Even as Ps. 2:8-9 promises the nations of the earth has an inheritance so Solomon’s prays his and his descendants rule extends to the whole earth. No place is to left free on his dominion. This entails the defeat of the king’s enemies and the bringing of tribute and obedience, willing or unwilling, from the kings of the earth to the Lord’s anointed. No king of Israel or Judah ever expressed the full manifestation of this. This shall be fulfilled in the ultimate son of David. Indeed, Christ is enthroned king now and is King of kings and Lord of lords at this moment. We don’t see the submission of all nations to him in our present time, yet it shall come to pass.
Verses 12 - 14: The king is to be one whom will defend the cause of the oppressed. The afflicted will find help and comfort in him. He will care for the poor and save them from the violence of evil men. Their lives will matter to him
Verses 15 - 17: It is David’s prayer that the reign of Solomon be one of long life and prosperity. He desires that the land be full of abundance and that the king be the recipient of the peoples blessings and prayers. David’s desire is that Solomon’s name and stature increase such that men bless themselves by him. He is to be called blessed by all nations. This is truly stretching language, incredible requests being made about an earthly king. Indeed, this goes beyond what an earthly king can do. It is a fitting prayer for the messiah however.
Verses 18 - 20: David ends by blessing the Sovereign covenant God, Yahweh, Israel’s God. It is this God, the one true God, who does awesome deeds in the heavens and earth. It is his name that is to be blessed forever. It is his glory that the earth must see forever and ever.
We have now come to the end of psalms of David. There a some in the remaining books but the first two books were mainly by David. Amen.
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