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Journey to Bethlehem Day 11

Wednesday, December 11 Psalm 72:8-15

8 May he have dominion from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth!
9 May desert tribes bow down before him,
and his enemies lick the dust!
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands
render him tribute;
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
bring gifts!
11 May all kings fall down before him,
all nations serve him!
12 For he delivers the needy when he calls,
the poor and him who has 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 the day!

Royal, or Kingship psalms celebrate the king’s praises. Often, they extol the reigning king’s military victories and benevolence, while also serving as a strong reminder of his high calling as king. Yet, this psalm exalts the king and his calling far beyond that which is humanly attainable as to suggest for its fulfillment a different kind of king is required: a Messiah-King.
The dominion of this Messiah-King is to be exhaustive, “from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth” (v.8). This dominion not only includes lands but peoples, “May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him” (v.11). However, this dominion is not merely due to the Messiah-King’s unmatched power, though he is unrivaled. Rather, his dominion over the hearts of nations and kings is due to his justice and goodness. For his kingdom is marked by deliverance, pity, salvation, and redemption for those oppressed.
Twice we are told the response to such a King by his subjects is to “bring gifts” (v.10, 15). However, this psalm looks beyond the tokens of courtesy and culture to “something greater than Solomon” and to the gift of total homage.
As we journey through this Advent season take time to consider the depths of your own needs. See yourself as the needy, poor, and oppressed from v.12-14. Consider also, the greatness of this Messiah-King, Jesus, who by his life brings life.

Gracious Father open our eyes to see you as you are. May your kingship be evermore worked into the recesses of our hearts and imaginations. So much so, that the rhythms of our lives reflect your dominion, to the honor of your name. Amen!