It is interesting to read through Psalm 72 is it is a prayer of Kind David, asking for God’s blessings upon him as king. David asks for blessings but also is intentional to make sure that God’s Kingdom is of greater importance than his own. We can learn much from this prayer about not only how we could and should pray, but also how we should relate to God as we find ourselves in positions of responsibility and leadership. This doesn’t just apply to rulers of the land but parents, supervisors, coaches, teachers…anyone who holds authority and responsibility over others.
The first four verses reveal David’s heart. He wants to judge righteously, avenge the afflicted, protect the defenseless, and hear from God throughout all of these decisions he has to make on a daily basis. Yet in verse 5 we see also his heart’s desire for the people not to fear him, but God Himself! As leaders we are tempted to “be like God,” but David realizes that the people fearing him is really an empty goal. If the people fear God, then the hearts of the people would transcend humanity and enter into the spiritual Kingdom of God. David’s desire is to rule and reignlikeGod but not so he can be like God, rather so the people would be drawn closer to God. It’s a subtle difference but a very important one.
As we work through to verse 17, David is giving more in-depth description of how he would like the kingdom of Israel to be as a result of his rule. However, we know by comparing these aspects with other pieces of scripture, they are a reflection of how God rules. So, at first glance it might seem as though David is being selfish and it would certainly be so if he stopped there. But he ends his prayer by blessing God and giving Him the glory.
How does this apply to your life and how you rule in your area of influence? Maybe you don’t see yourself as a leader, much less a king, and feel this doesn’t resonate with you. However, if you are a born again Christian, God’s Kingdom rules in your heart and He has given you influence to represent Him wherever you find yourself. So, even if you think you are in no position of leadership, think again what it means to lead… Our purpose is to lead others to Christ and His Kingdom. So how do you rule your immanent domain? How about your home? Your classroom? Your work area? Your position in church? Your influence as you walk down the street?
Let me encourage you to read over this Psalm once again but instead of looking at it from David’s perspective, apply it to your current situation. How can you judge people around you with God’s righteousness? What can you do to make everything and everyone around you flourish? How can you behave towards your enemies, knowing that God is with you and therefore nothing and nobody can overcome you? How can you have compassion on the poor and needy and rescue their lives from oppression and violence?
We’re agents of God’s Kingdom and have no good excuses not to be a part of the solution. God has saved us not from sin, but for redemption in the world. He is calling you to participate in His rule through us on this earth as it is in heaven. As a result, the people will fear Him as the sun endures. They will bless His name and the earth will be filled with His glory.