MAY 13

Read | Psalm 72

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.

Respond | Alex Dantzlerward

This prophetic psalm comforts me with the degree of active involvement it ascribes to Christ's role in the lives of His people. In this text, Christ is shown intervening in the lives of those who rely on him, dispensing justice and prosperity, lifting up the humble, defending the weak, receiving praise. It heartens and energizes me to remember that this is His position: always on the side of kindness, always working for His own good in the lives of His people. That's something I long to be part of.

 

I think it's an appropriate reading to take this kind of comfort in this psalm, because like a lot of prophecy, it can be read for us here today even while it points to the future we can look towards when Christ returns, bringing all of creation into full and final conformity with Himself. Right now, Christ's hands and feet show compassion to the weak and needy whenever we follow His commandment to care for "the least of these." To me that's more than a metaphor: if you've ever served someone else because you know Christ would have you do it, even though you felt a bit reluctant, that's an example of how Christ literally lives and moves actively through us.

 

During the present pandemic crisis, I've often felt fearful and isolated, in part because of the changes social distancing has brought to the practice of worship and fellowship. I don't think I'm alone in having found it more difficult to feel like I'm part of the body of Christ when I can't take part in the things I normally do to participate in it. But "normal" doesn't bind Christ. This psalm reminds me to take heart in the responses the church as a whole is taking to step in and help, and to be part of that in any way I can.

 

And to look forward to the day when the whole earth is filled with His glory.

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