Bible Studies
Written by Jim Jordal   
Saturday, 01 December 2007


by Jim Jordal

God, give the king your justice, your righteousness to the royal son.  He will judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice. The mountains shall bring prosperity to the people. The hills bring the fruit of righteousness. He will judge the poor of the people. He will save the children of the needy, and will break the oppressor in pieces…. For he will deliver the needy when he cries; The poor, who has no helper. He will have pity on the poor and needy. He will save the souls of the needy. He will redeem their soul from oppression and violence. Their blood will be precious in his sight.  They shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba. Men shall pray for him continually. They shall bless him all day long. There shall be abundance of grain throughout the land. Its fruit sways like Lebanon. Let it flourish, thriving like the grass of the field. His name endures forever. His name continues as long as the sun. Men shall be blessed by him. All nations will call him blessed.

Psalm 72:1-4, 12-17, (WEB)

Psalm 72 is a Coronation Psalm lauding the righteousness and economic justice to occur under the reign of Solomon, son of David. It blends the temporal blessings to be obtained through righteous and just political rule under the new king with the universal Messianic blessings to come as Christ the King builds His kingdom. It is thus both a messianic prophecy and a compendium of what behaviors constitute righteous, just human rule.

First, it is a prayer that God would bestow His wisdom and understanding on Solomon so that he might rule the people with righteousness and the poor with justice. But prayer is merely words unless accompanied by a desire to obey in whatever manner God leads. Solomon had such a determination.

But the righteous administration of justice requires more than positive steps to help the poor--it also requires punitive action against the forces of oppression and injustice ("…and will break the oppressor in pieces…"). Without action to rebuke and remove oppressive persons and systems society is left with charity, which generally is insufficient to overcome the evil arising from systemic oppression.

So why should Christians today consider these events of long ago? Why don't we relegate them to the ash heap of long-dead history because they can't possibly have any relevance today?

Basically it's because human evil in the form of rebellion against God's word has never changed. What happened then happens today. Only the scenery changes, never the motivation.

Back at the time of Solomon the poor were treated with disdain and isolated to the margins of society. They suffered unjust treatment under the law and oppression by the rich and powerful. There was little justice, either within the law, or outside in the community.

The sections of the Psalm quoted above close with the promise of deliverance wherever and whenever the principles of justice for the poor and economic deliverance for the people come into practice. Am I saying that there exist universal principles for human betterment that if applied will create economic deliverance, justice, and joy in any land? Absolutely! Notice the phrase "And all nations will call him blessed" that closes the Psalm. When Solomon applied these universal principles all nations called him blessed. And when Christ does the same in His kingdom, the entire world will rejoice in the newly found liberty under Christ the King.

Political scientists tell us that governments exist to do for us things we cannot do for ourselves--national defense, building of infrastructure, foreign relations and so on. It becomes increasingly obvious as the century progresses that about 40 percent of American people cannot provide economic justice for themselves because of the entrenched power of the present economic domination system. It therefore becomes necessary that government undertake that role. But, alas, how can government accomplish this when the very forces it supposedly seeks to restrain control it?

That's why we need Jesus Christ to bring what secular government cannot or will not provide--justice, deliverance from oppression, succor for the poor, and restraint of the oppressors.

Perhaps the greatest message of Scripture is the angelic call for "peace on earth and goodwill toward men." That's what final deliverance will require, and that's what we as Christians should expect and pray for. Nothing less will do.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 01 December 2007 )