Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

Praying for the King (Psalm 72)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Paul Johnson (Guest preacher)

Psalm seventy two. This listen, for this is the word of the Lord of Solomon. Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the Royal Sun. 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 Moan Grass, like showers that water the earth. In his day, 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. May the kings of tarshish and the coast lands render him tribute, May the Kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts, may all kings fall down before him. All nations serve him, for he delivers the needy. When he calls the poor in him, who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy and saves the lives of the needy from oppression and violence. He redeems their life and precious as their blood in his sight. 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. May there be abundance of grain in the land, on the tops of the mountains. May it wave, may its fruit be like Lebanon, may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field. May His name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun. May people be blessed in him. All nations call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever. May the whole Earth be filled with his glory. Men and on men, the prayers of David, the son of Jesse are ended a's for the reading of God's word. May He blessed to us. Please be seated. What's evening. I want to do something that's perhaps a bit difference, may be a bit unusual, as we look to the seventy two psalm. I want us to begin not at the beginning, but here, at the end, with these words that we just heard. Rather than beginning at verse one, let's look at verses eighteen and nineteen. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who will alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever,...

...may the whole Earth be filled with his glory. Men and men. The reason I want to look at this concluding line here first is because these verses here serve as something of a divider, a divider between the books that we find in the Book of Psalms. For what do you see in your bibles? Just below Psalm Seventy two, says book three. This is the final lines to the second book of the PSALTER. Imagine the Book of Psalms laid out on a bookshelf, and each book of the Psalms carries with it its own row. As you will well, the end of each book you find these book ends. Listen how book one concludes in Psalm Forty one. Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Men and a men, both book three and book for when they conclude, they end in this similar phrasing of of blessed be the Lord, Amen and a men. And how does book five conclude? Not just with one line, but with five psalms of praise the Lord, praise the Lord. The reason I want to point this out to you here, first and foremost, it's not just because it's interesting. Perhaps not many of you think it is all that interesting. The reason I want to take note of these book ends is because not only do they divide the psalter into these five books, but they also unite these five books into one book. Here they serve as various way more away points, like on a map, and they direct us to this intentional direction that the each and every psalm follows. These books are organized in a specific way, that each book ends with this blessing to the Lord, that the entire Psalter ends with five psalms of praising to the Lord. Through these five books, the Lord is directing us to a goal, a singular goal, a singular purpose, for within the psalms you find many different emotions, many different expressions, but the reason that we're given us alters not just so that we would know how these people used to pray, how David used to pray, the things he used to say, how the priests used to pray to God, that we see many things in these psalms that are foreign to us, that we see much of the Old Testament Israel within its pages. We're also shown that our God is the same, so we can praise him with these words along with Old Testament believers. In fact, notice how similar these final verses, first nineteen is to the Lord's prayer. When Jesus taught...

US disciples to pray, he began his prayer saying, our father in heaven, hollow would be your name. Let's first nineteen say bless it be Your glory, his glorious name, forever and in Matthew Ten, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as is in heaven. What does Verse Nineteen say? May the whole Earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. That Jesus his own prayers, his own prayers, were shaped by the Psalms. I mean Christis at the center of all of these psalms, and yet he himself prayed these psalms. Like was in these psalms. We two are being taught when to pray, how to pray and and why to pray. And next thing I want to notice here at the end of Psalm seventy two is this final line in verse twenty. The prayers of David, the son of Jesse are ended. Now let's brings up another interesting question. Who wrote this psalm? If you don'tice how this Psalm begins, whose name appears at the beginning of Psalm Seventy two to say of Solomon, and you here at the end. It seems to indicate that the prayers of David, the son of Jesse are here ended with this psalm. So who wrote it? Perhaps a straightforward solution is to see that in the Hebrew the preposition translated as of Solomon could also be translated as for Solomon. Does it make sense that David would be praying for Solomon, especially in light of the finality that we hear in verse twenty. The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended. If this is David's final psalm, I mean David has more psalms throughout the rest of the PSALTER, but this is the last one he wrote in his life. Makes Sense. On his deathbed, nearing the end of his life, where are his thoughts. Where are his prayers that therefore his son? If you're a parent, you can relate to David's concern. If you're a child, she'll you can relate to this fatherly care. Are My children going to be okay after I'm gone? Will my children be taken care of? Will they make the right choices if I'm not around to counsel them in it? Here in David's prayer we find a concern that's much more specific. He's not just praying for his son's health, financial decisions for his family. He's praying for a king. And Throughout these twenty verses, David's prayer...

...can be summarized as these two main requests. First and verse one. Give the King Your Justice, Oh God, and your righteousness to the Royal Son. May He Judge Your people with righteousness and your pure poor with justice. And a second request is found in verse Ey. May He have dominion from sea to see, from the river to the ends of the Earth. As a reading verse eleven, May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him. And throughout the Psalm, then we see this intersection between these two requests. David prayers praise for a king who would rule with justice, a king who would rule with righteousness over all the nations. And he defines this kind of rule, this kind of justice and this kind of righteousness as compassion. The King's righteousness, the king's justice, is not determined by the size of his military it's just not determined by the architecture of his palace, determined by his compassion and had by his love. He's to be a compassionate king who looks out for the poor, who looks out for the oppressed. May he defend the cause of the poor, of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy and crush the oppressor. And again in verse twelve. For he delivers the needy, when he calls the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, saves the lives of the needy from oppression and violence. He redeems their life and precious is their blood on his sight. When you look back on Israel's history, you'll see that this is the purpose for which the Lord first gave judges and first gave kings to Israel. Judges were raised up to deliver and to defend God's people. From oppression. Kings were given to rescue and save from the hands of their enemies. And his Justice and this righteousness is further connected to this king's universal kingdom. There's a connection in which the way in which this king rules and reigns is delivering to him in endless kingdom. May His name endure forever, verse Seventeen. His fame, what kind of fame? The fame of his justice, the fame of his righteousness. May His fame continue as long as the sun. May people be blessed in him and all nations call him blessed. The blessing that this king brings is to extend beyond the borders of Israel. And in these two basic requests, don't you see how this is a response to the dividict covenant, that the promise God gave to David and Second Samuel Chapter Seven, God gave Damis David a promise concerning a son who would be a king. God said, when your days...

...are fulfilled and you lie down with your father's, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for short time, no forever. And in the life of Solomon, in the life of David's son, you actually get a picture of these events. After all, wasn't Solomon who prayed for wisdom, but wisdom in order to do what, to judge the people with justice. God blessed him with insight and blessed him with understanding. David praise that the king's reign would bring peace and blessing. And First Kings, for tells us that Judah and Israel were as many as the sands by the sea. They ate and drank and were happy. And not only that, but didn't Solomon extend the boundaries of the Promised Land and his influence extended even to nations and kings and Queens? Solomon ruled over the kingdoms of the Euphrates, to the land of the Philistines, the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life. An example of this is the queen of she but, who came to Jerusalem because of the reports she had heard about the wisdom of Solomon, about the prosperity of the land, and didn't she bring much gold as tribute to the king. So, in light of the Lord's promise of a son, a king who would reign forever, David here seems to be praying for this son who would be greater than himself. WHO said David isn't anticipating this greater son, this greater promised one? He sees that this is a promise that needs to be fulfilled at the end of his own life, at the end of his own reign, at the end of his rule, at the end of David's ministry, in his life. What is his hope here? What is his expectation? It's in the Christ it's in the anointed promised one. It's not inappropriate to envision David here on his deathbed, with these being his final words, that these are his final prayers. And where is his hope? Where is his expectation? Where is his confidence? It's in this reign of a perfect king. David is anticipating the reign of a king who reflects the very character of God. But as David is relying up pawn the promise of his God, you kind of have to wonder, what about the temple? Wasn't that integral to the promise God...

...gave to David. Why doesn't David Pray for the building of the Temple? He prays for an Eternal Kingdom. And if that in fact that there's one thing you can say that Solomon literally fulfilled, shouldn't that be it? Solomon did build the temple. Wasn't the Divi? Wasn't God's promise to David that this son will build a house for my name and I will establish his throne forever? Is David only talking about the established throne that exdures forever? Why would David leave out the temple building of the Royal Sun? Well, he didn't. If David is describing the building of a temple, but it's not a temple with stones. The temple in Jerusalem was never meant to be the final or ultimate temple of the Lord. What David is concerned with is what the Lord was concerned with. Not Stones, but a temple of living stones. Notice David's concern for the people, that the people would be blessed by the rule of a faithful king. And as much as this prayer then points us to the life of Solomon, also points us away from Solomon just as quickly. So He is, though, he typified this righteous ruler in many ways, he also failed in many ways. Later in his life, Solomon turned from the Lord, following after the many idols of his concubines. After Solomon's death, his kingdom did not last. Rather, it was divided. Solomon could never be the one to fulfill what David is here requesting. In fact, look at how the prayer begins. Give your righteousness, give your justice to the king. David praise that the king would exhibit divine qualities. After all, it's the Lord himself who delivered captive Israel out of slavery in Egypt, the Lord who ultimately rules all of creation in true righteousness through his true justice. So it's perhaps once again return to that first question. Who is the human author here? Who wrote this? Was it David or was it Solomon? It's a very simplistic answer. I gave at the beginning that the Hebrew word could mean could go to dud it for two different ways, that this would be a prayer for Solomon or a prayer of Solomon. But all of David's other psalms have his name at the beginning. This one doesn't have David's name in it at all. It hence said it does Solomon's name...

...at the front, so I think we should see that Solomon himself did have a hand in arranging this psalm. In fact, he's probably the one who added Verse Twenty to it. It's unlikely that David himself would know that this is his last psalm. Is An appropriate that his son would say the prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended, as it also describe why there's no mention and reference to a physical temple. If it's through Solomon, the temple's already been built when he'd have written this. So we can see this not simply as a prayer for Solomon himself but also a prayer of Solomon, not just David's prayer for his son, but also a Solomon's prayer for his son. And if we're directed to look to David's greater son, and even though we find some fulfillment in Solomon, as we see this as a further repetition by Solomon himself, aren't we expecting that future greater fulfillment? Isn't? It doesn't give it that much further anticipation, for he's the only when we see this psalm is directing us to both David and to Solomon's greater son do we see the true fulfillment that we find in Christ, as Zachariah announces this king who would rule in righteousness. Zachariah nine, verse nine, says, rejoice greatly, O, Daughter of Zion, shout aloud, O, daughter of Jerusalem. Behold, your king is coming to you righteous and having salvation, as he humble and mounted on a donkey, on a cult the foal of a donkey, I will cut out the off the chariot from Ephriam and the war horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nation's his rule shall be from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the Earth. The same kind of request you see here is told to us to in the coming of Jesus Christ. We see in Christ first coming that the king who rules in righteousness and injustice. The Gospel of Christ is good news to the poor because of how he delivers from oppression. In Matthew Eleven, Jesus answered them. Go Tell John what you see and hear. The blind received their sight, the lame walk lepers are cleansed. The deaf here and the dead are raised up and the poor have the good news preached to them. For in Christ's life we see the true righteousness of our true king, who declares, after his resurrection, All Authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me. So Christ is the answer to this psalm. Christ is the answer to David's...

...anticipation, to Solomon's anticipation. This is a prayer of the king, then, for the reign of the future king. How can this be a prayer for us as we stand in light of the victory of this king, the arrival of his eternal kingdom? Can't we sing and pray this psalm with that much more confidence, with that much more assurance? For Look at what we're doing today, look what we're doing here and now, in Tucson of all places. What is verse seventeen say? May His name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun, may people be blessed in him. All nations call him blest. Here we are in the desert, blessing the name of the Lord. So not only is Christ and his life and death and resurrection and answer to David and Solomon's kingly prayer, but as our Lord continues to gather a people for himself, from among the nations. You too are an answer to David's prayer, to Solomon's prayer, for ultimately, this is not just the prayer of David, nor is it ultimately just the prayer of Solomon. This is ultimately the prayer of your king, Jesus, the final royal son. For this reveals not only his desire for you and I to bless his name, it reveals his purpose. It reveals his very plan to gather worshippers through his own righteous life, through his own defense of the poor and needy, by paying the price that we could never pray, by paying the price for our sin, by earning an eternal kingdom. So that is verse Nineteen says. Blessed be his glorious name forever, may the whole Earth be filled with his glory. Men and men, Lord is faithful. Your Lord desires the fulfillment of this psalm far greater than you or I ever could, and he is at work bringing it about. So let us continue to sing his praises forever. Man and man, let's pray.

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