Psalm 72

By Solomon.
1 God, give the king your justice; your righteousness to the royal son. 2 He will judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice. 3 The mountains shall bring prosperity to the people. The hills bring the fruit of righteousness. 4 He will judge the poor of the people. He will save the children of the needy, and will break the oppressor in pieces. 5 They shall fear you while the sun endures; and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. 6 He will come down like rain on the mown grass, as showers that water the earth. 7 In his days, the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more. 8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, from the River to the ends of the earth. 9 Those who dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him. His enemies shall lick the dust. 10 The kings of Tarshish and of the islands will bring tribute. The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. 11 Yes, all kings shall fall down before him. All nations shall serve him. 12 For he will deliver the needy when he cries; the poor, who has no helper. 13 He will have pity on the poor and needy. He will save the souls of the needy. 14 He will redeem their soul from oppression and violence. Their blood will be precious in his sight. 15 They shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba. Men shall pray for him continually. They shall bless him all day long. 16 Abundance of grain shall be throughout the land. Its fruit sways like Lebanon. Let it flourish, thriving like the grass of the field. 17 His name endures forever. His name continues as long as the sun. Men shall be blessed by him. All nations will call him blessed. 18 Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. 19 Blessed be his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and amen. 20 This ends the prayers by David, the son of Jesse.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verse 1

This psalm belongs to Solomon in part, but to Christ more fully and clearly. Solomon was both the king and the king’s son, and his pious father desired that the wisdom of God might be in him, that his reign might be a remembrance of the kingdom of the Messiah. It is the prayer of a father for his child; a dying blessing. The best we can ask of God for our children is, that God would give them wisdom and grace to know and to do their duty.

Verses 2–17

This is a prophecy of the kingdom of Christ; many passages in it cannot be applied to the reign of Solomon. There were righteousness and peace at first in the administration of his government; but, before the end of his reign, there were troubles and unrighteousness. The kingdom here spoken of is to last as long as the sun, but Solomon’s was soon at an end. Even the Jewish expositors understood it of the kingdom of the Messiah. Observe many great and precious promises here made, which were to have full accomplishment only in the kingdom of Christ. As far as his kingdom is set up, discord and contentions cease, in families, churches, and nations. The law of Christ, written in the heart, disposes men to be honest and just, and to render to all their due; it likewise disposes men to live in love, and so produces abundance of peace. Holiness and love shall be lasting in Christ’s kingdom. Through all the changes of the world, and all the changes of life, Christ’s kingdom will support itself. And he shall, by the graces and comforts of his Spirit, come down like rain upon the mown grass; not on that cut down, but that which is left growing, that it may spring again. His gospel has been, or shall be, preached to all nations. Though he needs not the services of any, yet he must be served with the best. Those that have the wealth of this world, must serve Christ with it, do good with it. Prayer shall be made through him, or for his sake; whatever we ask of the Father, should be in his name. Praises shall be offered to him: we are under the highest obligations to him. Christ only shall be feared throughout all generations. To the end of time, and to eternity, his name shall be praised. All nations shall call HIM blessed.

Verses 18–20

We are taught to bless God in Christ, for all he has done for us by him. David is earnest in prayer for the fulfilment of this prophecy and promise. It is sad to think how empty the earth is of the glory of God, how little service and honour he has from a world to which he is so bountiful. May we, like David, submit to Christ’s authority, and partake of his righteousness and peace. May we bless him for the wonders of redeeming love. May we spend our days, and end our lives, praying for the spread of his gospel.

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