Long may He live!
“Long live the king!” The world has shouted these words at earthly sovereigns for centuries and, in some cases, rightly so. If David penned this Psalm for his son, then his request was granted for Solomon reigned for 40 years. Solomon also benefited from the gold of Sheba, in fact he became “greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.” 2 Chronicles 9:22. He also ruled over a kingdom similar in size to the one we described in verse 8. In other words, all of Arabia as far as the Euphrates River.
This verse also has implications for our King, our Messiah. Let us never forget that we inhabit a different kingdom to the world. We obey the commands and pay homage to the King of kings, “Long may He live!” When He comes to reign upon the earth, there is no doubt that all peoples will honour Him but let’s remember, He is not a king who needs to accumulate gold and silver and worldly wealth. His wealth is the praises of His people.
It may not have occurred to us that we should pray for our Messiah King or to bless Him all day long. However, do we not do this when we say, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven?” We sing, “Blessed be the name of the Lord” but I wonder if we have taken time to privately bless Him? Let’s make that time today to pray for our King and His kingdom and to find new ways of blessing Him.
The avenger of blood
You will, no doubt, remember the scene in Genesis 4 after Cain has murdered his brother Abel. The Lord says to Cain, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”
This is a chilling statement by the Lord, it suggests that He hears the cries of all those who have been murdered, their voices calls out to Him from the ground. It also tells us that those who have committed murder are under a curse.
In Numbers 35 we read about Cities of Refuge prepared for those who have unintentionally killed someone, so that they might hide from the family member who takes the role of the “avenger of blood.” In other words, they might forfeit their own lives even though the death they caused was an accident!
In Psalm 9:12 we read, “For He who avenges blood remembers; He does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.”
In the context of the above, this verse is full of powerful truth. In the coming kingdom, Messiah will rescue those who have been oppressed and the victims of violence. The blood of victims is precious in His sight, and they are never forgotten. The Lord God will avenge them!
He takes pity on the weak and needy
This verse reminds us that our earthly view of poverty, weakness and need is very much different from God’s view. Firstly, He has an eternal view of life and death. Everything has to be put into perspective and a few years of poverty in this life are nothing when set against the backdrop of eternity. True poverty is not knowing God, not being known by Him, and not knowing the hope of eternal life.
We also need to remember that the richest man ever to live on our planet, had nothing! In worldly terms, Yeshua was penniless. He owned no property, no bank account, no chattels, he had no earthly assets and yet He was not poor. In other words, it is not worldly possessions that count with God, it is treasure in heaven.
It would also be right to say that Yeshua showed us His weakness as a man. This was displayed when “He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:7-8.
When we take God’s heavenly perspective, we see that the weak and the needy are people like you and me. Those who see how sin has entrapped them. How desperately they need to be rescued, how helpless they are. The needy are those who throw themselves at the feet of God’s mercy and, having been saved by Him, do not forget to walk humbly before their Lord.
Deliverance for the needy
Remember that this Psalm is an anticipation of a ruler to come. Some of the content could certainly be attributed to Solomon and it describes the hopes of his father, David, as he prepares to hand over the kingdom of Israel. Solomon was renowned for his wisdom, and he did indeed, rule justly. However, as we have seen, the ultimate fulfilment of Psalm 72 will come when Messiah reigns upon the earth.
The reign of Yeshua will not be cruel, He will not use his power for selfish advancement, and He will not rule as a dictator. There will be no oppression during His reign, and He will not pursue His own interests. He will show the world what it is like to live under righteousness, justice and truth. The reign of Jesus Christ will embrace all who are weak, needy and afflicted. He will not allow any to be despised, unlike the rulers of this world who are so full of their own self-aggrandisement that they distance themselves from their poorest and most down-trodden subjects.
We must remember that during Messiah’s reign, the Satan will be bound and his attempts to harass and trouble the world will be, at least for a while, suppressed. The world will experience peace and equity and people will be shown what it means to live God’s way. We will be witnesses of and participants in this amazing era as we await the final conflict and ultimately, the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. Hallelujah!
Every knee shall bow
As I write this, the Russian / Ukranian War is entering its 18th day. I have followed the debates and arguments of politicians and “experts” from around the world and I have become increasingly aware that there is none who is righteous. None of these people speak with the voice of God. All countries are corrupt. Most politicians have something to hide. The activities of western governments, over the past 50 years, have not exactly been covered in glory have they? It’s not so long ago that the US and UK invaded Iraq and then Afghanistan, under false pretences.
The point is this, that those who look to the world’s leaders for inspiration and hope, are looking in the wrong place. There is only one voice and one strategist who can be trusted. He has spoken since the beginning of time, and He remains in control of our planet despite the suffering that man brings upon himself. One day, every world leader, every king, every politician and every dictator will bow down before the King of kings. With trembling knees and a deep sense of foreboding these men and women will understand the folly of their ways as they face the wrath of the One who appointed them! Every tongue and every nation will utter the immortal words, “Jesus Christ is Lord!” They will come from the past, from their places under the earth, to join the living and to bow in submission before Yeshua, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11
A King in Israel
Scholars have attempted, for centuries, to nail down the exact location of Tarshish. Some have this city as far away as Spain, others believe it was an island, still others place it in N Africa! The name crops up around 25 times in the Old Testament so I think we can assume that it did exist – contrary to some opinions. Solomon had fleets of ships scouring the world of that time for precious metals and jewels and Tarshish appears to be important as a seaport.
Sheba could have been part of southwest Arabia. It was a port that profited from transporting luxury goods from north Africa to Lebanon using caravan routes through the desert. A famous Queen visited Solomon from this part of the world. (1 Kings 10.)
Seba is thought to be associated with modern Sudan although, again, opinions differ for it is also aligned with Cush and could have been part of western Persia, today’s Iran.
The Psalm proves that places and their importance change over the centuries, what does not change is the centrality of Israel in history, and that trading, and politics, have long been centred around this land. As we have seen, our Messiah will reign from Zion and once again the wealthy states of the world will pay tribute to a King in Israel. Keep your eyes focussed on this land for there is much still to be revealed as we await our coming King.
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