There is some debate about who wrote Psalm 72. The introduction says it is “of Solomon”, but the end of the chapter says, “this concludes the psalms of David” (v. 20). My advice is do not get hung up on this. Perhaps David is praying it for his son Solomon who will succeed him as king? Maybe Solomon is writing and praying it in the third person to be a good king? If so, it would have to be early in his reign as king as he turned away from the Lord in his later years. It could be used as a psalm to pray for any king or ruler in principle. However, from a Christian perspective, it points to Jesus. He is the King of Kings to which this royal psalm is referring.
The first few verses of Psalm 72 mention the righteousness needed by the king to do justice, bring prosperity, save, and crush the oppressor. Jesus is that righteous King! Romans 5:1-8 reminds us we are justified by faith in Jesus, and He brings us peace with God, grace, and hope because He died for our sins. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus conquered sin and satan and gave us the hope of eternal life in heaven. Verse 5 asked the king to endure forever, but every earthly king will be replaced. There is only one eternal King and His name is Jesus! He rules in a way that prospers His people eternally with love, grace, peace, and hope (v. 6-7). Not only will He rule forever (v. 5), but He will also rule everywhere (v. 8). His enemies will bow down to Him (vv. 9-11) as one day every knee will bow (Philippians 2:10-11; Romans 14:11). There is no king like King Jesus!
King Jesus delivers (v. 12), has compassion (v. 13a), saves (v. 13b), and rescues (v. 14). He blesses those He loves, and they return thanksgiving to Him with praise (vv. 15-17). If it was unclear who this psalm was written by or to, verses 18-19 clear it up for us: “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.” May earthly kings and rulers lead with the righteousness, justice, hope, grace, and compassion that comes from the Lord. Even if they don’t, there is an eternal King Who will, and His name is Jesus! Praise be to His glorious name forever, and may the whole earth be filled with His glory!
- Do you rely more on an earthly king than the King of Kings?
- Do you praise the name (or even say the name) of an earthly ruler more than that of Jesus?
- Have you asked the name above all names, Jesus, to save you?
Jesus, You are greater than any earthly king. I pray earthly kings lead with your righteousness, grace, mercy, compassion, and love. I will depend upon and trust you more than any earthly king. Your name alone is glorious! You alone save, rescue, and bless. Praise be to your glorious name forever! May all of the earth be filled with your praise and glory! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.