July 03 2023
Today, Monday July 03
The King of Righteousness
A Psalm of Solomon
“Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king's Son. He will judge Your people with righteousness, And Your poor with justice. The mountains will bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness. He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, And will break in pieces the oppressor. They shall fear You As long as the sun and moon endure, Throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing, Like showers that water the earth. In His days the righteous shall flourish, And abundance of peace, Until the moon is no more.
There are many interesting aspects Psalm 72. This Psalm is the last one in Book Two of the Book of Psalms. This chapter ends with: "The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended" (Psalms 72:20). Remember the Book of Psalms is divided into five books. The five books are Psalm 1-41, Psalm 42-72, Psalm 73-89, Psalm 90-106, 107-150. Each book ends with a doxology of praise to God. The first three books have a double "Amen, Amen" at the end, the fourth book has but one "Amen" at the end, while the fifth book has no "Amen" at the end.
Many commentators believe that the reason for this division into five books is that each section corresponds to the first five books of the Bible; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Book One fits with the Book of Genesis. This section, Book Two, relates to the Book of Exodus. Remember how Exodus ends with the setting up of the Tabernacle in the wilderness and the glorious presence of God fills it. God dwells as Ruler and Leader in the midst of His people. Book Two of Psalms ends with the Righteous King upon His throne ruling over His people and all the earth in peace and righteousness!
There are no quotations from Psalm 72 in the New Testament. But this Psalm must be considered a Messianic Psalm. The theme of Psalm 72 is the reign of Christ upon the earth. The Psalm speaks literally of the reign of Solomon which was the most glorious reign Israel experienced, but the Psalm obviously looks beyond Solomon's reign to the reign of Christ, for many things said in this Psalm can only be said of Christ's reign, not of Solomon's reign.
Depending on which translation you might be using, you will discover that the title in some connect Solomon as the writer. If the inscription is translated "of Solomon”, then he was the author and wrote of himself in the third person. This would make it a prayer for God's help as he sought to rule over the people of Israel. But in other translations the inscription is translated "for Solomon". If this is the case, then David may have been the author. The last verse (v. 20), actually says: “The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.” This Psalm would have been a prayer for the people to use to ask God's blessing upon their new king.
If Solomon did write the psalm, then it had to be in the early years of his reign, for in his later years, he turned from the Lord (1 Kings 11; Prov. 14:34). But beyond both David and Solomon is the Son of David and the one "greater than Solomon" (Matt. 12:42), Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel. As we already said, this Psalm is quoted nowhere in the New Testament as referring to Jesus, but certainly it describes the elements that will make up the promised kingdom when Jesus returns.
In verses 1-7, we are presented with the Righteous King. We need to remember that the Lord was King over His people, and the man on the throne in Jerusalem was His representative, obligated to lead the people according to the law of God (Deut. 17:14-20). He had to be impartial in his dealings (Ex. 23:3, 6; Deut. 1:17; Isa. 16:5) and make sure that his throne was founded on righteousness and justice (Psalm 89:14; 92:2). When the Lord asked Solomon what coronation gift he wanted, the inexperienced young man asked for wisdom, and God granted His request (1 Kings 3:1-15). One of his first judgmental decisions revealed this wisdom (1 Kings 3:16-28).
We need to note that righteousness is mentioned four times in verses 1-3 and 7. The Messiah will one day reign in righteousness and execute justice throughout the world (Isa. 9:7 and 11:4-5; Jer. 23:5-6; Zech. 9:9). In the whole land of Israel, from the mountains to the hills, Solomon's reign would bring peace and prosperity, for both of these blessings depend on righteousness (Isa. 32:17).
It is because Jesus fulfilled God's righteousness in His life and death that we as sinners can be forgiven and have peace with God (Rom. 5:1-8), and He becomes our "King of righteousness" and "King of peace" (Heb. 7:1-3).