MEDITATING ON THE PSALMS “A life-changing glimpse at God”
Posted on May 27, 2017
PSALM 72 – Give the King Your Justice (ESV) or
“A Song of Solomon” (title and notes from James Montgomery Boice: Psalms, Vol. 2)
“A Song of Solomon,” is a very interesting title to Psalm 72.  As a caution here, this title could be confusing since there is a book in the Old Testament named, Song of Solomon; this is not what it means.  Psalm 72 is truly a psalm of Solomon, which could have been a song also.  Who is this Solomon?  If you know your Old Testament history, Solomon is the son of King David, who inherits the throne even though he is not the first born, but chosen by the LORD to be the next king, and the son of Bathsheba.
To gain more insight, let’s take a look at the Ryrie Study Bible regarding Psalm 72: In this royal psalm, Solomon prays that the king’s reign will be characterized by righteousness (vs. 1—4), peace (vs. 5-7), power (vs. 8-11), compassion (vs. 12-15), and prosperity (vs. 16-17).  The concluding notes of praise (vs. 18-20) close Book 2 of the Psalms.  Like other royal psalms (c.f. Psalm 2), this one is also Messianic, referring to an O.T. king (either Solomon or his son), but having its ultimate fulfillment in the ideal King, Jesus Christ, David’s greatest Son (Luke 1:31-33). Regarding verse 20, the prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended; David was the chief, though not sole, author of the psalms in Book 2.
John MacArthur writes in his Bible Commentary: This is a coronation psalm dedicated to the prosperity of Solomon at the beginning of his reign (I Kings 2.)  No NT writer applies any of the psalm to Christ; however, since the Davidic kings and the Messiah’s rule occasionally merge into each other in the OT literature, the messianic inferences here ought not to be missed (vs. 7, 17; Isaiah 11:1-5; 60-62).  This psalm describes a reign when God, the king, nature, all classes of society, and foreign nations will live together in harmony (which can only happen in the Mill. Kingdom)
  1. A Just Reign (72:1-4)
  2. A Universal Reign (vs. 5-11)
  3. A Compassionate Reign (vs. 12-14)
  4. A Prosperous Reign (vs. 15-17)
  5. A Glorious Reign (vs. 18-20)
Regarding verse 1 YOUR JUDGMENTS: it’s a prayer that the king would faithfully mediate God’s justice on the nation.  And regarding verse 20 ARE ENDED: Asaph’s psalms immediately follow after this psalm, though David did author some of the psalms included later in the collection (Ps. 86, 101, 103). This closes Book 2 (Ps.42-72) of the Psalter.
Now on to Boice…
David’s Son and David’s Greater Son
Charles Hodge wrote in his Systematic Theology, The Seventy-second Psalm contains a description of an exalted king, and of the blessings of his reign.  These blessings are of such a nature as to prove that the subject of the psalm must be a divine person: (1) His kingdom is to be everlasting, (2) universal; (3) It secures perfect peace with God and goodwill among men. (4) All men are to be brought to submit to him through love. (5) In him all the nations of the earth are to be blessed… The subject of this psalm is, therefore, the Redeemer of the world [pgs. 600-601]. 
The stanzas of Psalm 72 describe five qualities of Christ’s kingdom: (1) its character (vs. 1-4), (2) its duration (vs. 5-7), (3) its expanse (vs. 8-11), (4) its nature (vs. 12-14), and (5) its blessing (vs. 15-17).  The doxology in verses 18 and 19 concludes not only this psalm but also the Psalter’s second section.
The Character of the Kingdom: Righteousness
The first four verses of the psalm lift up the essential character of the kingdom being described.  It is
righteousness, a word that occurs three times in verses 1-3.  Verse 1 asks that the king might be endowed with righteousness.  Verse 2 predicts that the king will judge the people in righteousness.  Verse 3 speaks of the fruit of righteous judgment, which is prosperity, a theme to be developed more fully in stanza five.  Righteousness has to do with God doing all things rightly or justly.  It is appropriate therefore that Psalm 72 highlight the same quality for the one who is to reign for him on earth [p. 601].
The Duration of the Kingdom: Endless
The second stanza of the psalm (vs. 5-7) describes the duration of Christ’s kingdom and the idea here is that it is eternal. It is a kingdom that will never end [p. 602].
The Expanse of the Kingdom: Universal
The third stanza of this psalm (vs. 8-11) speaks of the great expanse of Christ’s kingdom, and the point here is that is universal.  It is “from sea to sea and from the River to the end of the earth” (v. 8) [p.603].
The Nature of the Kingdom: Compassionate
The fourth characteristic of the kingdom of Jesus Christ concerns its nature; it is compassionate.  This is developed in stanza four (vs. 12-14). Where Jesus rules his kindness become evident, and people are treated gently for his sake [p. 604]. 
The Blessing of the Kingdom: Prosperity for All
The material prosperity described in this stanza (vs. 15-17) has to do with gold pouring in from Sheba and grain and fruit thriving even on the tops of the hills… this is a way of saying that under the reign of Jesus there will be prosperity of every conceivable kind [p. 604].
Praise to the God of Israel
This brings us to the doxology (vs. 18-19) that ends not only Psalm 72 but also the second book of the Psalter. The doxology is a reminder that the kingdom described in this psalm is the Kingdom for which the world still waits [p. 605].   
Questions to consider when applying this truth:  
What about you, do you look forward to that future kingdom of Christ?  Do you long for His coming for us in the air?  Do you live life as if He could come at any moment?  And do you pray for his coming?  The Bible speaks of a future reward in heaven for those who pray for and long for Christ’s coming.  I say, “Yes, come Lord Jesus, come!”
Personal notes by Lisa Patton   [Please note: the Psalm study will begin again in August.]