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Psalm 72

Jorine Johnson

1 Give the king your justice, O God,

and your righteousness to the royal son!

May he judge your people with righteousness,

and your poor with justice!

Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,

and the hills, in righteousness!

May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,

give deliverance to the children of the needy,
and crush the oppressor!

May they fear you while the sun endures,

and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!

May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,

like showers that water the earth!

In his days may the righteous flourish,

and peace abound, till the moon be no more!

May he have dominion from sea to sea,

and from the River to the ends of the earth!

May desert tribes bow down before him,

and his enemies lick the dust!

10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands

render him tribute;
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
bring gifts!

11 May all kings fall down before him,

all nations serve him!

12 For he delivers the needy when he calls,

the poor and him who has no helper.

13 He has pity on the weak and the needy,

and saves the lives of the needy.

14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life,

and precious is their blood in his sight.

15 Long may he live;

may gold of Sheba be given to him!

May prayer be made for him continually,

and blessings invoked for him all the day!

16 May there be abundance of grain in the land;

on the tops of the mountains may it wave;

may its fruit be like Lebanon;

and may people blossom in the cities

like the grass of the field!

17 May his name endure forever,

his fame continue as long as the sun!

May people be blessed in him,

all nations call him blessed!

18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

who alone does wondrous things.

19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;

may the whole earth be filled with his glory!

Amen and Amen!

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

This is a psalm written by King Solomon who echoes the prayers of his father David who gave instructions for his son’s kingship. Solomon learned much from his father and one thing that I liked about this psalm is how Solomon echoes the prayers of his father. David is known as a man who is after God’s heart, and his prayer life was so powerful, deep, and contagious that his son, Solomon, takes after David’s prayer life.

This psalm is Solomon’s desire to be a just, righteous, and good king for Israel. He prays for God’s wisdom and justice to help defend the cause of the needy and the poor which is something dear to God’s heart (a very common theme in Deuteronomy and other books in the OT). Solomon prays for success and prosperity for his kingdom, that his people would be taken care of, the others nations would honor Israel because honoring Israel means honoring the Lord. I like verse 15 where Solomon says, “May prayer be made for him continually” which demonstrates his humility to need the prayers  of his people. Solomon is the wisest, richest, and probably one of the most powerful kings in Israel, and while it’s difficult to know when the psalm was written to determine when he had amassed all of his wealth, we do know how important prayer is no matter how successful we are. 

This psalm gives a better description on the kingship of Jesus Christ, and maybe that might be the real fulfillment to the psalm and the answer to the prayer. Human beings fail all the time and the same is true to Solomon who had many failings, especially toward the end of his life. But Jesus doesn't fail: he reigns with perfect justice and righteousness, he defends the cause of the needy, in the millennial and the eternal rule of Christ, there will be peace and abundance of blessings on his subjects, everyone will bow before Jesus (“so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” Php 2:10), and his name and rule will endure forever and ever.

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