Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness. May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice. May the mountains bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness. May he defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; may he crush the oppressor. May he endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations. May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth. In his days may the righteous flourish and prosperity abound till the moon is no more. May he rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. May the desert tribes bow before him and his enemies lick the dust. May the kings of Tarshish and of distant shores bring tribute to him. May the kings of Sheba and Seba present him gifts. May all kings bow down to him and all nations serve him. For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight. Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given him. May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long. 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. 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. Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse. – Psalm 72:1-20
This post marks my return from Haiti and a brief hiatus from posting to the Walking on Water Blog. I have missed my daily ruminations, although I have been reflecting on God’s protection, provision, and love for my entire trip to Haiti. I had an amazing trip with 6 students and a colleague installing wells, exploring mountains, and bonding over bracelets with kids. I am sure I will interject some of these experiences into blog posts down the road…but back to the psalms.
It is interesting that the topic of today’s verse is God’s provision, I have certainly felt that over the last couple of weeks. Rain falling on a mown field…what an interesting way to describe the provision of God. It is not just rain on tender plants, but grass that has been cut and maintained. Cut grass gets thick and lush – while uncut grass grows thin and spindly. The act of pruning or cutting spurs new life. This is true in my experience with spiritual “pruning” as well.
God accomplishes spiritual pruning through what sometimes appear to us to the traumatic and painful events. I suspect if we could place ourselves in the place of a blade of grass staring down an approaching lawn mower blade it would seem pretty awesome and scary. Now I am not implying that God mows us down to make us grow, but I do think he is in the business of pruning. He does it tenderly, but there is no question that the pruning sometimes hurts.
This verse contains interesting language which seems to transcend an earthly king, perhaps prophetic reflections of a king to come, Reflections of Him. Here are a few of the parts that seems prophetic, or at least seem to intimate, Jesus: “the royal son with your righteousness”; “May he judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice”; “May he defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy”; “May he rule from…sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth”;”May all kings bow down to him and all nations serve him”; “he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help”; “May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long”; “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”.
I am again struck by the depth of the references to a king beyond an earthly king here in the psalms. They are truly rich with references to a coming king who will transcend the earthly kingdoms that the readers of the psalms would have known quite well. This psalm ends with the statement “This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse”. It is ironic that here at the end of David’s prayers there is such a vivid picture of a hope to come.
Prayer: God thank You for protecting, providing, and preparing me to return to my daily walk with you.