Psalm 72 exposes the heart of a true king, very like the one described in Isaiah 11:1-5. In verses 1-7, we hear the fervent plea for wisdom, justice, honor, compassion, longevity, and righteousness from a king crying out to God for help.
“Give the gift of wise rule to the king, O God,
the gift of just rule to the crown prince.
May he judge your people rightly,
be honorable to your meek and lowly.
Let the mountains give exuberant witness;
shape the hills with the contours of right living.
Please stand up for the poor,
help the children of the needy,
come down hard on the cruel tyrants.
Outlast the sun, outlive the moon—
age after age after age.
Be rainfall on cut grass,
earth-refreshing rain showers.
Let righteousness burst into blossom
and peace abound until the moon fades to nothing.
Rule from sea to sea,
from the River to the Rim.”
Verses 18-20 put his position into perspective and show the importance of humility in a truly wise and just king.
“Blessed God, Israel’s God,
the one and only wonder-working God!
Blessed always his blazing glory!
All earth brims with his glory.
Yes and Yes and Yes.” (The Message, Eugene Peterson)
When I read Psalm 72, I see Christ. Some scholars argue that it isn’t a Messianic Psalm and worry about why it is where it is. I’m not a scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know a description of Christ when I see one. Christ was the perfect king, and Psalm 72 is a description of such a king. My favorite line is “Be rainfall on cut grass.” Christ is just that, and I’ve experienced the renewal of His refreshing love on more than one occasion.
Solomon knew the Messiah was coming, and I hear him asking God to help him be the type of king he knew His Son would one day be. I often wonder what it would have been like to live in Old Testament times without having Christ’s precious love available to me. Solomon has a vision of the coming king Who would rule as no other. I look forward to His Second Coming with the same kind of heart I hear in Psalm 72, seeing the earth brimming with His glory and His peace abounding forever.
Solomon was famous for his wisdom, and I hear evidence of that wisdom in Psalm 72. I also hear humility which accompanies all wisdom. Christ was a humble king who knew His Father was the “one and only wonder-working God!” He was, and still is, a king unlike any other the world has ever known. Thanks be to God!