By Debbonnaire Kovacs, Jan 2, 2017

Pixabay, free use

Psalm 72, a psalm of David, is a prayer for “the king,” and seems to portray David as asking God for wisdom for his own reign, but it is also clearly about an eternal king; that is, the Messiah (see verses 5 and 6, for example). It can be read two ways, as a devotional song of praise for God and as a portrait of how all the people of God, especially those in leadership, will be if they follow God closely. I advocate both ways.

Read the psalm through first as a prayer, focusing on all the attributes of God that it lists, and particularly on how those intersect with your life and the lives of people you pray for. Then go through it again, seeking to list the particular attributes that the people of God must imitate, and asking God how you can do so more intentionally this year. Here are some questions to get you started.

Verse 1 makes clear where all justice and righteousness come from and verse 2, interestingly, lists ruling both “your people” and “the poor”. Why do you think these things are mentioned separately?

How many times can you find mentions of those who are vulnerable, and what does the king do for them?

What other kinds of the things does the righteous king do for his people?

What do you think the imagery of sun, rain, moon, corn, fruit, and grass represents?

Besides literal monetary or in-kind tributes from neighboring kingdoms, might there be some other types of gifts and tributes referred to?

What, overall, does God ask of you personally in this psalm?