Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 (NRSV)
1Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king's son.
2May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
3May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
4May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
5May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
7In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
18Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
19Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.
This psalm is in part a prayer that the king ruling over Israel would be a good king. It is a prayer that the king would rule with justice and righteousness. It is a prayer that the king would pay attention to the needs of the poor and needy while not letting oppressors get away with their unjust actions.
Many of the kings of Israel (and Judah) that we read about in the Bible didn't live up to the hopes of this prayer — not even close! The result was suffering and hardship for many people. We learn in the New Testament that Jesus is God's true King — the King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus is God's gift of a truly righteous king who can ensure justice, provide relief for the poor, and resist the oppressors. May we receive the gift of Jesus' leadership in our lives and our communities this Advent season.
God who makes wrong things right, help us to trust Jesus as our leader and our Savior. Show us how we can be part of Jesus' rule as we go through our daily lives. May your kingdom come, your will be done. Amen.