Psalm 72: Guidance for the King

Why would a king with absolute authority feel a need for God’s help?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 72:1–3 A song for Solomon.
Would you give the king an ability to judge like you, God? May the king’s son live according to what you say is right. Let him govern your people with righteousness and treat the poor and afflicted fairly.
May justice and peace come to every hill and mountain.
King James
Psalm 72:1–3 <A Psalm for Solomon.> Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.

How much concern should the king have for the people?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 72:4 Let the king defend needy people and their families. Let him crush those who take advantage of them.
King James
Psalm 72:4 He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.

What can we do to help people recognize their need to revere and worship God?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 72:5 May the people revere and worship God for as long as the sun and moon give light, throughout all generations.
King James
Psalm 72:5 They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.

What can business owners and supervisors do to bring life to their domains?

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Psalm 72:6–8 May the king’s rule bring life to the land like showers upon the meadows and plowed soil. During his reign, for as long as there is a moon to light the night, let righteousness flourish and peace abound.
May he rule from sea to sea, from the river’s beginning to its end.
King James
Psalm 72:6–8 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.

What kind of king deserves the respect of other kings?

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Psalm 72:9–14 Those who live in the wilderness will respect his reign. His enemies will grovel in the ashes. The kings of Tarshish, Sheba, Seba, and faraway shores will bring tribute. All kings will bow before him. The nations will serve him.
He will rescue the poor and afflicted who cry out because they have no one to help them. He will have compassion for the poor and weak. He will save needy people dying prematurely. He will protect them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious to him.
King James
Psalm 72:9–14 They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.

What must a king do to be remembered forever?

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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 72:15–17 Long live the king, who will receive gold from Sheba, continual prayers, and daily praise.
The land will yield an abundance of grain. The crops will stand tall and shake in the wind like the rich meadows of Lebanon.
The king’s fame will last for as long as the sun continues to shine.
King James
Psalm 72:15–17  the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised. There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.

Why do past miracles lose their impact in the midst of the current trauma? How might the impact increase, instead?

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Psalm 72:18 Praise the Lord God of Israel, who does miraculous things.
King James
Psalm 72:18 Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.

What must happen for God’s glory to fill the whole earth?

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Psalm 72:19 His greatness will be recognized forever, and his glory will fill the whole earth. Yes, let it be so.
King James
Psalm 72:19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

What is the difference between a prayer and a praise?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 72:20 This concludes the prayers of David, son of Jesse.
King James
Psalm 72:20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.