Psalm 72 - Give the king your justice, O God

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Prayer for Guidance and Support for the King Of Solomon..
1) Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2) May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
3) May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
4) May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
5) May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6) May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
7) In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

8) May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
9) May his foes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust.
10) May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts. 11) May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service.

12) For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.
13) He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.
14) From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight.
15) Long may he live! May gold of Sheba be given to him.
May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all day long.
16) May there be abundance of grain in the land; may it wave on the tops of the mountains;
may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field.
17) May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun.
May all nations be blessed in him; may they pronounce him happy.

18) Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
19) Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth.
Amen and Amen
20) The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.

Psalm 72 (NRSV)
2nd Sunday in Advent, Year A, verses 1-7, 18-19
Epiphany of the Lord, verses 1-7, 18-19

"Give the king your justice, O God... May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice."

Lest we forget, this prayer should remind us of the weighty responsibilities of leadership and authority. Kings need to be imbued with, steeped in, even possessed by a sense of justice in order to rule justly.

Leadership and wise guidance is a Biblical theme. The patriarchs lead their families through the lands, Joseph guides the kingdom of Egypt through a time of trouble. The Lord God leads Moses and Moses leads the people out of bondage and through the wilderness. Like a good shepherd, the Lord leads his chosen ones in the paths of righteousness. We pray that the king, our earthly rulers emulate the Lord and rule in righteousness. We trust then when those who lead treat the people with equity, that all will go well in the land.

Yet it can also read be read as a corrective prayer. We know that when rulers act unjustly, sooner or later, justice will have its way.

Perhaps you see injustice, deceit, corruption, callousness from some of those in power. Perhaps you see those in positions of power who are not worthy, who do not live up to the vision of this prayer, that rulers "deliver the needy when they call," who cares and helps "the poor and those who have no helper."

We pray for just rulers. But we trust in the One who is trustworthy, who is just, and who will rule over all earthly rulers.

     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.




Credits:
Anonymous, Christ Tsar, 1690. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 100 years or less.

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