Advent: Thursday Dec 1

Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19

Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth.
Amen and Amen.

[The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]

Questions:

What do you think the Psalmist means when they say “Give the king your justice, O God”?

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4 comments

  1. The petition to grant the king’s son God’s justice is the acknowledgement that the source of true justice is always God. It is not something we conjure up from within ourselves. Justice or righteousness, however, you translate it, is always a product of grace. It comes to us and through us from God’s own hand.

  2. This very much brings to mind the Isiah verses about ‘come all you who are hungry’. I see as as making a deliberate choice for those in power to represent and be present for those who do not have it. Making the Kingdom present where we are instead of waiting for it to come.

  3. I did not realize this earlier, but it seems that this psalm is King David praying for his son, Solomon, who will be king. It’s telling, I think, that David’s “big ask” here is “May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.” I wonder if David hopes for a more just reign under Solomon than he was able to bring about during his own reign?

    1. Thanks for clarifying. In this context is seems like King David is asking for his own life and actions to be judged. So justice here for David seems like asking God to give him what God thinks he deserves based on King David’s actions in life. What I like about this is David describing his own hope for the future. He wants his child to be better than David thinks he was. I think we all in our own way hope for the future. We can receive judgment at the end when we are no longer are able to act. But as we go thru life it is the character of righteousness that David hopes will help his son act to bring prosperity to those in need and allow the earth to flourish.

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