With Justice and Righteousness

November 13th, 2015

RG AUDIO 111315


Psalm 72:1-19

Likely meant as both coronation prayer and reminder for the Davidic kings, Psalm 72 places their reign within the context of God’s overarching reign. Justice and righteousness, the foundations of God’s reign, are the twin virtues meant to guide each ruler’s actions. The specific task highlighted for the king was to care for the afflicted and the needy (vv. 4, 12-14).

The scope of the psalm reaches beyond Judah, however, culminating with an echo of God’s covenant with Abraham (v. 17b; see Genesis 12:3). The result of a just and righteous reign will be shalom (“prosperity,” Psalm 72:3), not just for Judah but extending to the nations.

This psalm should encourage us to pray that government leaders will exercise leadership that leads to shalom. Additionally, this psalm has been viewed as pointing to the Messiah since no Davidic king endured forever (v. 17a); Isaac Watts’ hymn, “Jesus Shall Reign,” originated from this psalm. Even as Israel’s kings were to mirror God’s reign, so, too, the Church, the body of Christ, should exemplify the reign of God.

Author: Rhonda Carrim


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